Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Mom just called me from the hospital. She doesn't have a blood clot, and her kidney is still functional. This is all very good. They're keeping her on antibiotics because she probably has pneumonia. But she'll be coming home tonight, and that's really quite good.

I don't feel like going to school again. But at least it's in a normal sort of way; I mean, I never really want to go to school but usually I can force myself to do it with a minimal amount of pain. Things should start calming down soon. One more week of school, then finals, then break.

I'm feeling quite lucky today. This thing with my mom could have turned out really bad. We've been through some really amazing stuff medically over time, but this was scarier than even some of the bigger operations. Since she got her new kidney, doctors have been calling her high risk. A lot of them won't deal with her. Truth be told, she is high risk. But it's still sort of scary to hear it. It also hit me, in the middle of all this, that my mom's getting old. She's 53 and while that isn't ancient, it's getting up there. When I was little I thought of 53 as like, elderly.

I remembered in the midst of all this mess, how, when I was little, I slept in my mom's room almost every night until I was like seven. My dad worked nights, so my mother wasn't as insistent on kicking me out as most parents are. And being as I was a horribly phobic little child, it worked out that through much repeated regular screaming and crying, I was allowed to stay. But what my point in this story actually is, is to share that the first image that I really recall of my mother is of watching her sleep. I don't know how old I was at the time, probably only three or so, but it's always been my mental image of my mom ever since. She was laying in bed, and the window behind her was letting sunshine in. It was early in the morning, and you could hear the trees rustling in the wind outside. There were bird songs, too. It was all very soft in essence. And I was sitting at about her hip level, beside her on the bed, watching her breathe. It may have been the first time I really recognized my mother was a human being, and vulnerable.

It was strange to sit in the hospital, watching my mother breathe. It wasn't soft at all. There were the loudly beeping machines, and nurses walking in and out. Raspy breathing. The light blocked out by drawn curtains. But the principle was the same. I recognized that my mother was a human being, and vulnerable. And mortal, as we all are.