Last week, at some point (last week is rather blurry with the long days and unexpecteds that arrived…) I awoke to a feeling of dread –
And perused the morning’s dream data bank to ask why such a thing had happened.
I dreamed of being in a white hall, with marble floor, and a statue in a foyer – but I can’t see the statue. I’m curious, but because I’m a stranger, here, don’t feel I have the right to lift the purple cloth covering it to see what it is….
And I awake with dread, a heart gripped with fear and yet, a tiny, stubborn, determination to see it through.
No kidding, it took the jarring of the computer calendar displayed date, to remind me – yesterday – where I was 10 years ago, at Easter time. And just why the old memory had triggered such a strong response –
10 years – don’t they go by in the blink of an eye?
I spent Easter of 2007 at the St. Francis hospital keeping an eye on mom, her tests, writing down instructions from the doctor, notes, calling family.
At the home place, some 60 miles away, my brother took on sole, 24 hour care of my Dad –
But I remember the early morning (or middle of the night) journey down to find some coffee – and the statue at the end of the hallway, draped in royal purple – and, the final realization,
“It’s Easter Sunday….when did that happen?”
I had split my time between my home and my parents home for weeks – not fairly, as I was only at my home from Monday evening to Wednesday a.m.
I, Mom and my brother were doing our best – my brother making a longer commute than I, to fill in where he could -to fulfill Dad’s wishes to be at home when the time came –
I had struggled for weeks between the desire to lay down the law with Mom to rest more and, at same time, arguing with myself I had no right to limit, in anyway, the time she chose to steal to from sleep, to spend with Dad.
We all knew we were on the final portion of the path we would walk with him –
And then Mom got sick – and transported out.
And thus, I came to be roaming the halls of St. Francis Hospital on an early Easter Sunday morning, with no clue before that Easter had arrived –
I knew, given my brother’s new business, he couldn’t possibly stay down to help, all week – business was already into ‘busy season’ – (yup, he’s a farmer…)
I questioned whether I had it within me to care properly for them both, 24/7 –
I doubted it and I was scared I would fail –
Family reinforcements from 1,300 miles away, who don’t like flying, and were called to come in earlier than they had planned, if they wished to say goodbye, and offer the support only sisters know how to give, were scrambling to change plans, but wouldn’t arrive for a week or so –
Staring at the purple shrouded statue, I felt the fear, doubt and all, race through every portion of my mind & heart, to land in my body and make it’s presence known through cold limbs and racing heart.
And somewhere, somehow, a tiny grain of determination grew – and then a feeling measure of peace –
While the foreboding of the hard path in the coming days still lingered, I realized, all I could do was what I could do – and I determined to do it –
Why was I being so silly? It’s not like I was in land ravaged by war & conflict, without food or water or such….
Still, with my heart in my throat, I drove Mom home after she was released – I confess to being more scared silly and hoping I had the fortitude to do and be kind and live off catnaps, here and there, without getting grumpy or short.
When time is short or one is in need of healing, well, one recognizes the circle of life, but rather strives to give some quality to it, best as they can, anyhoo…
Once home, after both patients were settled in, food offered, medicine given on schedule, I stepped outside to watch as the sun descended against the western horizon – the same sun Dad had reminded me to think of for so many years.
My brother joined me outside, and, with sleep deprived eyes and sad hearts, we looked at each other –
“Are you heading back tonight or in the morning?” I asked.
“I know you need to get back, I was just wondering if you were going tonight or in the morning.”
“Sis, do you seriously think I’d leave you here, alone? I’m staying. Now, what’s the plan?”
“I’ll take night shift, since you can’t sleep well during the day, AND, Mom is relieved of any duties except spending time with Dad, no cooking, no charts, no nothing – and you’re gonna have to back me up on that – – And…”
While my mouth rattled off the options I had thought about for some long time that weekend, my heart swelled with love and also, I was ashamed of myself –
How could I have thought, ever, I had to face it alone?
And that, folks, is my Easter Miracle, I finally realized I was being reminded of, this past week.
For whether I lift my eyes to heaven or keep them earthbound, somewhere, there is always a miracle that saves me from my worst imaginings and teaches me to have just a lil more faith.
And it plays out, everlastingly, right in front of my eyes.