Strollers & Wheelchairs

“I can’t push a stroller and a wheelchair at the same time.”

That was the line I created in the shower – always a place of brilliance, yes? I was up early to rinse off before James awoke. I knew with a busy morning that I’d likely not get a (private, non-whiny) shower in unless I beat him to the punch.

In the shower, for whatever reason, I started to think about my parents and their health. I thought about how I wanted them around for as long as God gives them, but that their remaining years (whether one or twenty-one!) be positive and elegant and as stress- and disease-free as possible.

It was selfish thinking… I want them around for me. For my children, their grandchildren.

It wasn’t more than an hour after my shower (and my creative one-liner) that I got a call from my dad. My dad never calls. Not because we don’t enjoy talking or because we don’t love each other, but I think my mom and I REALLY enjoy talking (gabbing, chatting, venting) and then that gives them something to talk about!

So I was a little puzzled, but I answered right away.

He tells me that he had to take my mom to the hospital yesterday… She had a health scare*. But she’s ok.

What. My heart dropped to the floor. I swear I could have picked it up and put it back… It was outside my body.

How in the world did I JUST think about my parents and their ongoing health and longevity?! And how in the world did THIS happen?

Of course, there is no answer to that. We don’t know what causes these health problems*. We’re just so blessed and grateful that she caught the signs soon enough and got to the hospital right away.

I won’t say I’m still reeling, because I’m not. I am still emotional. But I’m not worried. She’s already home. She has a treatment and medication plan in place.

I went to see her in the hospital and got to take her out when she was discharged. On the way home, I prayed the entire time in the car… well, until the last twenty minutes or so when it got dark. Then I listened to NPR and spoke with my mother-in-law on the phone.

But otherwise, I prayed the rosary from Austin to New Braunfels. Slowly, carefully, peacefully. Then I opened up my prayers to Jesus and thanked him for the blessing of my mother, my family, my life, my home, just everything.

I talked to him about my faith, my concerns, my faults.

I apologized for all of my sins… My pride, envy, gossip, judgments, worldly distractions, pursuit of cultural happiness, not putting Him first… I could go on.

And I told him that I loved him and that I was sorry for ignoring that love over the years. I’ve never been without my faith; I’m blessed to have always had a “connection” … But always love him? Serve him? Keep his commandments? Um no. Definitely not.

And for that I felt regretful and sorry. But I became relieved, because that night, I know He forgave me. And as the sun set and the Texas sky lit up with gorgeous reds and oranges and pinks, I was at peace.

And I was at peace with everything. I felt grace wash over me like cool rain drops on our warm summer days. Those who have hurt me, those who hurt others, my mom’s issue and even the possibility and inevitability of hers, mine and others’ deaths. I was at peace with it all.

It was glorious.

***

Mom,

I love you. I’m sorry for times that I didn’t show you that with my impatience or sarcasm or apathy (and eye rolls).

It saddens me that you’ve had to experience this, but I’m so grateful that you’re not only still here but that you’re experiencing only mild symptoms. I’m so happy you’re able to recover so easily and that you’re otherwise healthy and strong.

I think you’re beautiful, and I’m flattered whenever someone says I look like you.

Really.

And you’re so funny. We’ve had a lot of good times laughing together, and I know we’ll have many more.

You’re my inspiration. Article after article yammers on and on about women’s choices. Choices to be married or single, a parent or childless, someone who works at home or in an office or not at all… And really, when I think about my choices, I realize they mirror yours. Because it was SO NICE TO HAVE MY MOM THERE FOR ME. I realize now that’s a luxury many can’t afford. I’m so grateful to you and dad for your being there when I forgot my lunch (or just wanted to see YOU during lunch), or when I come home from school crying. I want to be like you, for my boys.

I’m grateful for everything, for I am my mother’s daughter (there’s no denying it).

Eye heart u. – napkin

Forever yours,

SMJ

*I removed the specific health event my mother experienced in order to not share ALL of her personal details. She is doing really well, but we ask for continued prayers. Thank you!

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