The Hospice nurse left a few minutes ago. He's a real peach. His name is Andy. Mom likes him and he certainly knows how to communicate with her. All pluses in my book.
He examines her and we discuss comfort, medication, and little things to make her days as joyful as possible. We discuss this blessed heat wave. He tells me not to worry about food intake, focus on clear fluids. The room is comfortable he tells me. He says I'm doing a good job.
Toward the end of the visit he always asks "What's your greatest need today?" It always sends me sideways. My snarky side says, "Bring back my 40-year old mother." My care giver side says, "Help me. Help her." My soul weighs in with the honest answer. That one undeniable response that wells up inside me, "Give me strength." I try to hide the tears that well up, wishing them to the back of my eyeballs.
Many folks stumble through life buying this and that telling themselves they NEED it. Gotta have it
The thought of what lies ahead in the weeks to come demands strength. The might to put my needs aside, yet the determination to take care of myself for her. The strength to transfer her from bed to commode without spraining my back. The fortitude to hold patience up as Mom clatters on about subject matter unknown to me when all I want to do is run back to the safe space of my writing, or my knitting. The restraint to say, "It's OK, you don't have to eat", rather than do battle with her in an energy sapping conflict. And at the end, I hope I'm strong enough to say, "It's OK, Mom, you can go now. I'll be alright" and mean it. All that and more takes backbone. Not the might of Hercules, but a different sacred, loving, will power.
I never understood my greatest need until today.
So, what's your greatest need
Links to the Outside World
- Peace On the Way
- Melody of the Pines
- ....That Which Passes All Understanding
- Putting It Out There and Bringing it Home
- The Man Who Loved Me
- Pressure (Barometric and Otherwise)
- "All Will Be Well In All Manner of Things All Will...
- Thank You, Canada!
- Madsummer or Midsummer?
- Carpe Diem
- Play Dates in the Sun!
- The Tale of One Puppy
- The Burning Question
- Are You Kidding Me?
- The Stubborn Sunflower
- Self-deprecation Vs. Self-Doubt
- The Paper Passion Season
- What Strengthens Me
- Sometimes When I'm Down, I Have to Look Up!
- Now Folks, This Day Really Hasn't Been Normal.
- In the Wee Hours...
- Conquering the Fear Factor
- Finding Our Comfort Zones
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