Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A sleepless night

I write this from the oddly dark, deserted (save for my sister and myself, with our smuggled food and rearranged couches...) neurosurgical waiting room...

The TV is preset and locked on the TLC channel, adding to the strangeness of this.  It feels, with the brightly colored chairs and couches, and the late night hour with my sister, equal parts college study session/sleepover, and ...something really intense.

I miss my babies (poor James is having his first solo night with all three...and Calli still nurses during the night, so I do not anticipate this being an easy evening.  And poor Carol, in from Boston, is supposed to be resting so we can switch out in the morning, but will be subjected to the Wrath of Calli all night as her world is JUST NOT RIGHT.  If you know Calliope, you know that she MAKES IT KNOWN when she is not happy...and methinks this turn of events will make her not so happy...)

I am not worried about mom.

I mean, I am, but...these past few days have been so wonderful. I mean, I know how hard that might be to believe...but the gift in all of this, this awful, horrible, unfair thing, has been the immense love that has been flooding our lives since this all happened.

Saturday, mom resurfaced from a place that seemed so far removed from our own that I wasn't sure she would want to come back.  But she did.  And we got to hold her, cry with her, talk to her, laugh with her...and I continued my physical comedy streak (the first installment being the concussion I received while in the ER with mom, and then being relegated to a wheelchair for the remainder of that ridiculous friday, following mom's gurney with my wheels...Thanks, Zoe.) by falling into a fountain. Yes, I did that, it really happened; I fell into a fountain and even now I can't think about the incident without falling into a fit of giggles...and thankfully it had the same effect on the rest of the family, too.

Most people would fall into a fountain, then get a concussion, then go to the ER...but not me.  I went to the ER, then got a concussion, then fell into a fountain...Hey, remember the time I found out my mom was dying and then got concussed by the medical staff and rounded out the evening with a nice dip in the local reflecting pool?

No one would believe my life.

Kelly said that her day after getting my message about mom's condition was ridiculous, and her friends wanted her to write a book about it.  Then, she told them about my experience of the same day, and they said we need to write that down...I am thinking this would be a great idea.  I think I'd call it Tales from my mother's death -or maybe Lemon Ball Happiness is a better one...but in any case, from the ridiculousness of the weekend followed by the profundity of these last two days...I think this collaboration may need to happen.

But I digress, (greatly...Did I mention it's 2:30am and I am writing to channel the anticipatory energy I have buzzing in my limbs?! oops, sorry...)

I can't even begin to explain what an amazingly wonderful day yesterday was. There was so much LIFE in that room...and mom seemed so GENUINELY happy for the first time in...ages.  None of us had seen her smile that much, or laugh that much...and yes she cried, but they were real, genuine, releasing tears...

And today, while less effusive in its existence, was so pleasant...and the last couple hours before she was actually taken for her surgery were so simple and wonderful...It was just Mom, Kelly and I, hanging out together.  We filled the entire time sharing all of the amazing messages we have received from friends and family from all over the world with mom...We read her poems, listed people who had sent love, prayers, support, listened to music, I gave mom a clary sage foot rub, and we talked about all of the amazing people we have in our lives...and when they came to take her down for the big operation, she was happy.

Mom's friend Jennifer posted a version of this song for her to hear before she went in; it was the perfect song for this moment, and mom was so touched and pleased- especially since this was an old favorite from the time Kelly was born.  I've posted the version we knew below:

Mom declared afterwards that she has no more angels to call, because they have all come to her already.  They are here, and all around us - Angels in the form of friends, of family, of acquaintances she didn't have a clue she had touched until they gave their hearts to ease her pain...Angels in the form of doctors, nurses, medical techs...New friends, strangers, friends of friends, friends of her children...In seeing her younger daughter's overseas boyfriend drop everything to come to her, in the friend of her older daughter who bought him the ticket to do so without batting an eye...In the new friend who dropped everything to take her on the two hour drive to her doctor when she was in the many many friends who have come to her or will come to her, in the flesh or in spirit...Every tiny thought, every good wish, every ounce of gratitude and love each of these people has sent to her has hit her hard, and I can see it cradling her and giving her such peace.

This is a terribly risky surgery for so many reasons, but even if the outcome is not what we want it to be, we have been given such a huge gift...this, this time, this love and connection, has meant more to all of us than we will ever be able to express.

Mama, we love you...and I think you might be starting to understand that now.