I just signed off MSN with my girlfriend, but cannot sleep just yet. I was looking for paper for a new layout, and came across this card that I had made for my mother’s birthday in January 2009, while she was in hospital after her devastating stroke. It brought me to tears.
It was the first card that I ever made. A tri-fold. The cover reads “For my Dear Mother”, as you unfold the first layer, it reads “Mom, you encouraged me in life. You let me walk, you walked with me, you helped me go where I needed to go” then as you turn the next fold over it reads “Now let me walk with you a bit, and encourage you.”
Mom was felled with an awful stroke Dec 3 2008, that left her communication severely impaired. Global aphasia, they called it. Her communication, both in and out was devastated. She passed away from complications 8 March 2009, on International Woman’s Day. As shattering as the whole situation was to both she and I, I was so glad that we had a relationship that made me a comfort and help to her. She never left hospital. I was there most days of the week with her. She loved this photo of us, where she was watching me take early steps – I, in turn, watched her take early steps after she worked to recover from her paralysis after the stroke. So much of that time in hospital is so very bittersweet.
My sister and I bought her a digital photo frame the Christmas after the stroke. I moved into the hospital with her for the first month and a half after the stroke, and spent days scanning photo after photo of her youth, and later family life. I watched her face turn into the young woman she had been as her cheekbones became more prominent as she lost weight. Her skin had always been miraculously young, and that never changed. Had it not been for the beautiful silver that her hair had turned as she lay in hospital, she looked remarkably like the young woman in her twenties and 30s in the photos that I scanned of her youth. For me, this transformation signified a transition that I was meant to witness, and that was necessary to prepare her and I for her next life. She had become childlike in many ways. There was, however, one constant. My mother had always possessed a profound faith, and that was the one rock that never faltered throughout that whole ordeal for her. I was grateful for that comfort for her.
Sorry Lee, but I had to write this down, even after I said goodnight to you. I know you understand.