My Mom and Daughter reflect:
9:00 p.m. - Toast (suggests I follow him in my car) and leads me through multiple massive fire engines to the road home after l2 nerve banging hours at the hospital.
l0:00 p.m. - Crawled into Linda's bed at home which smelled sweetly of her. I was sniffed my her cats who wondered who in the world I was.
l0:l5 p.m. - One last prayer. Thank you God for everything.
As the days went by I would sit in my chair next to her bed and observe the nurses do their daily routine. They would burst through the large door on the opposite side of the room and without even the slightest acknowledge of my existence they would check her vitals. They would walk in and mumble a few words to themselves and then walk right back out without even a hint of a smile or a pleasant hello. They were strangers just getting their job done so that they could continue on with their lives and completely forget about my mother’s. Half of them didn’t seem to even know her name or even care enough to find out. Though my mother wasn’t really in shape to launch into an intellectual conversation a little compassion would have been appreciated.
Out of the dozens that entered our “lair” only one stood out as being an angel. Her name was Tiny. She was a beautiful Indian woman who wore every emotion on her sleeve. Just being in her presence could bring you back from the brink of depression. She was kind and good. Anything mom needed and Tiny was all over it like a bum on a ham sandwich. She would come into our room and encourage my mother to walk and eat and go to the bathroom by herself. Without Tiny I don’t think she would have recovered as quickly as she did.
Although most teenagers could never imagine sticking around to watch their mothers in such agony, I (on the other hand) had to be there for her. To tell her that the walls were not moving. That everything was not in a weird tint of red. That there was not writing on the walls. I had to be there whenever a pillow needed adjusting. Whenever she had a desperate need to press the “happy button”. I needed to be there whenever the lights were too bright or she just needed someone to hold. I had to tell her that I was here for her always because I was her only piece of home and she needed that. And I wanted to be with her.