Part III: What we learned in the waiting

Unfortunately, Mom’s visit to the spine specialist didn’t result in any magical cure.  He told her to expect an eight-month recovery process and to go home, rest, walk as much as she could tolerate, and wait.

My mom’s not what you would call “the waiting type”.  This is the person who jumps up when the dryer bell rings so she can immediately attend to the laundry so it doesn’t wrinkle. 

Meanwhile, her clearly-adopted daughter turns OFF the dryer notification because that’s why God invented the fluff cycle.

Can I get a witness?

I could tell Mom and Dad were a little deflated with the news. I don’t blame them – it’s hard being away from home and your support system in situations like this.  On the other hand, I felt relief because it meant that I could take care of Mom as long as she needed help, in my own home (that was already set up for someone with mobility problems), without worrying about being away from my own family. It was truly the best scenario you could hope for even though it was tough on my folks living in someone else’s house, sleeping in someone else’s bed, dealing with someone else’s PUPPY (that was festive), and sharing space with someone else’s kids.

But we adjusted.

And we learned.

About waiting….as over the weeks Mom struggled, first to sit up, then stand, then take slow, painful steps to the kitchen with a walker, then venture outside with a cane.

About grace…as our normal routines were thrown off-kilter and the stress of the situation sometimes caused folks to act out of character.

About patience…as Dad and I answered the same questions over and over and over because the pain meds made Mom forgetful from one day to the next.

About gentleness…as I had to bathe my mother and wash and style her hair.

About humility…as she had to accept her daughter doing things that she as a parent would typically do, or when I had to admit to friends that I really needed a meal or two and if they could please HELP A SISTER OUT.

About friendship…as twenty meals showed up on my doorstep and as encouraging notes filled the mailbox.

Seriously y’all, her friends.  In the 7 weeks she was here, only two days were without a card from Oklahoma.

And about love…as I watched her husband of 60 years get up with her in the middle of the night, hold the bucket for her while she heaved, sit with her for hours on end, and pray over her constantly. And as my husband of 18 years moved into the VERY COLD upstairs guest room (Dear everyone who has ever stayed with us, I am sorry, I had no idea), gave up any notion of having his wife’s attention, ate mystery casseroles for weeks on end, and celebrated his 50th birthday by having his in-laws live with him for two months, all without one single word of complaint during or since.

We married good men, Mama.

So many blessings, so many lessons learned, such a faithful Jesus who walked with us every day. I have a few more thoughts to explore, hopefully tomorrow, and then I’ll wrap this story up.

Thanks for the encouraging words, friends, and for sticking with me, even in my absence.

Have a nice day.


4 responses to “Part III: What we learned in the waiting

  1. I would probably say no thank you to all of God’s amazing growth opportunities for me, which is why I’m so thankful that He knows best and gives them to me, anyway. Love hearing how He grew you all and provided more than you could ask for.

  2. Tho I knew much of this, I have tears running down my face as I read (& you know it is usually my other half who “leaks”, not me.) How precious this is & how gracious of God to let us have a glimpse. Thank you for sharing this, Susan.

  3. Oh my word, bless all y’alls hearts. Definitely trying times. But glad to hear that everything seems to be trending in the right direction.

    PS….I’ll give you a BIG “Amen!” on dryer. I wish I *had* fluff cycle! I’d Wear. It. Out.

  4. I’m so sorry your Mom (and you) had to go through all this. You sure made it interesting reading though! And here’s what I learned from it: every day is a gift. Every day without pain or heartache is a double-gift. When I read about your brave Mom starting to walk again–wow. I act like I deserve and expect to be happy and healthy all the time, my whole life. Instead I need to be grateful for each minute that I am.

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