Wednesday, May 20, 2009


An hour ago it was 3:00 in the morning. Obviously, I am still awake. My husband, back from his foray to le toilette, is snoring comfortably. As for me, the thoughts come rushing in.

At first it's the little things: pack a gym bag, pack a lunch, pack for the trip this Friday, need a haircut and clothes for James for his first piano recital tomorrow,things my trainer told me to help me to stay positive on my long, long road toward fitness, images of Daniel out on the field last night, looking like a twenty-something rather than a ten year old as he swaggered in his catcher's gear toward his spot behind home plate. And then my thoughts settle down and fix on the unavoidable. My mother is in the hospital.

My mother reads my blog when she's well, and so, given that she is one of my two readers, I don't want to bore her with stories about herself or alarm her that the whole cyber world might be reading about her personal life. So, no stories about mom's health.

Still, I know she is lying in French Hospital in San Luis Obispo tonight. Most people would write the word alone after that, but my mother has been living by herself for over thirty years. So tonight whe will have more noise, action, and assistance than usual. Tonight she does not have to be afraid that she will stop breathing. Nurses, doctors, machines, will make sure that she is getting oxygen to her uncooperative lungs. So even though none of us is at her bedside, she is not alone.

My moether doesn't want to be a patient, she doesn't want to lie on a couch, she doesn't want to stop working at the thrift shop she runs for her church, or arranging the flowers for Sunday service, or tell the brown baggers she can't make it, or book club, or her salon (read with a french accent). My mother does not sit still. After feeding everyone, writing up a little marketing piece for the church bazaar, hemming up a pair of pants for her grandson, and designing a new studio for her daughter, she'll finish wiping down the kitchen--even though the movie she insisted she wanted to watch has been spinning around in the DVD player for at least a half an hour. When she does finally finish up every last little thing in the world that needs to be accomplished, she will mosey out to the couch for our "girl time." Nine times out of ten, I am already half asleep trying to rally. Twenty minutes later her eyes are half-lidded and she's slurring. Time for bed.

I love my mother. There is nothing I can do for her tonight. She doesn't want us there. She doesn't want to be pitied or babied. She doesn't want flowers-her arrangements are prettier. She doesn't want fine wine, it's a waste of money. My mother loves to talk . . . that's hard on the days she doesn't have breath. Books on tape, CDs. Those are things I can do for her.

At one point she talked about moving here. She even put money down on Horton Plaza. My sister and I, my boys, all fantasized about having "granny" around the corner. That's the way I wish it was. But she has her wonderful garden, incredible friends, good sons and spectacular daughter-in-laws, and the light of her life, Bella--my three year old, highly unexpected, niece. I smile thinking about mom and Bella. They are a mutual adoration society of two. Maybe that's what mom needs more than anything. I just hope she knows I want to be part of that club too.


Christy Raedeke said...

Oh, Marcia, I'm sorry about your mom. I'm glad she's being looked after. This is heartbreaking to read, but beautiflly written.

Thinking of you...

Jennie Englund said...

Marcia, your mom and you are in my heart.

I'm sorry for both of your suffering; spring is no time for sorrow.

Anonymous said...

Marcia, I know that feeling. I went through it with my mom, and lying there worrying is SO unproductive, but there is nothing you can do except the things you listed. Take care, and sleep well.
Love, Carol

Kelly Hudgins said...

I know exactly how hard this is for you, and I'll be thinking about you all.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written sister.