Sunday, May 13, 2012

Something About My Mother

I was going to do some silly thing about kids and mothers, but I’ve decided on this, instead. I wrote it on Mother’s Day a few years back, and updated it yesterday.

My dad 2 years ago, with my mom and Lucy.
It’s Mother’s Day, and my father is dying. Again.

His first stroke was more than 12 years ago. Doctors and machines and my mother’s faith kept him alive those first few days and weeks, and he got better. He could talk and respond, and we joked that he was about the same as before. A second stroke soon took care of that, though, and he wasted away to nearly nothing. But my mom takes care of him.

My dad 10 years ago, with our youngest.
The people at his first home were not diligent, not consistent in caring for my dad, so mom learned what to do. She changed him, cleaned him, turned him every couple of hours, did his therapy. She spent about eight hours with him every day, except when he was hospitalized for pneumonia, about every two months. Then she just sat beside him.

She moved him to a new place, where she still does much of the work, but at least he only gets pneumonia once a year or so.

My dad’s old friends rarely see him, nor do his sons who live close by, but my mom never fails.

My dad always said that we should never let him stay in a home, but you can’t “just shoot” him, as he always said. I’m sure the years there have been long for him, somewhere in his awareness.

The days and years have been long for my mom, too, but it’s changed her. The last of her rough edges have been worn smooth by devotion. She knows no more anger, she holds no more grudges, she hides no more affection. She knows only love for my dad.

And whatever price that has cost my dad, I’m sure he has paid it willingly.


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