This morning was a little sad for me. My mom has had some recent health issues and decided to keep it more or less to herself. I come from a LARGE family, and in some aspects we are a close-knit family, especially when it comes to the love that all of us siblings has for our mother. I don’t think there is a single one of us (14 kids) that wouldn’t stop what we were doing at any given moment, drop it all and gladly go running to just one of the most beautiful women, inside & out – that you’ve ever met. We all consider ourselves lucky to be hers. So, when we all didn’t get to know immediately of any health issues, there was a feeling for me at least, of being left out of the loop which I had never expected.
Today I visited her and as we were talking over lunch I could tell she had something on her mind. It was a feeling of importance that she needed to get this off her chest and didn’t want to hurt my feelings but also meant what she was about to say. She said, “I just want you to know that I’m capable, I feel capable, and I can do things on my own. I’m capable of making my own medical decisions. If I feel like I need help I will ask you.” I think either somewhere along the line she must have felt her privacy had been invaded by her children, myself included or she doesn’t want anyone to sit around waiting for her. Funny, all I ever asked for was to come along and hold her hand. If I felt she wasn’t capable of getting herself to the Dr., I would have told her that. It never crossed my mind because she is capable.
What did cross my mind when I found out that she was going through such a hard time is; if I were alone and not feeling well, I’d sure wish a friend would call and ask if she could tag along and hold my hand. But I didn’t say that to her today, because I just sat there and listened. Of course, there is a part of me that completely understands where she is coming from, but the “kid” in me did not. Unfortunately, I’m the type of person that needs to process information more slowly than most.
When I drove home, I call my husband crying. Crying because my mother is aging, crying because I lost my dad in ’04 to a stroke and I miss him terribly, crying because it is foreign to my ears to hear her tell me that she does not need me when I know what she really means is, “I don’t want to burden you”. If she had a gold bell and I had to run every time she rang – and she was hot on that bell, ringing it every 10 minutes she wouldn’t be a burden. She just doesn’t know it. My husband, knows she is my soft spot, knows my buttons, knows me better than anyone and he quickly diffused all of my worries and sadness. He said, “Annebella, if she is in her right mind enough to tell people that she wants them out of her business, she is doing ok!” and we both laughed – me, right through my tears. He always makes sense and he always makes me laugh.
So, to my sweet Mother, I would love nothing more than to tag along and be with you, to the grocery store, to make a “return” to a store, or to a Dr.’s appointment even if it means just sitting in a waiting room, not because you are not capable, but because I love you and you are the most important person in my life. You may see it as I would be wasting my time. I don’t waste time because while I waited I would read, knit, or sit like a bump on a log, just to see you come out smiling knowing there is someone there that would rather be no other place else than with you.