and so my mother finds her way through another extended stay in the hospital...we are now on day ten of her third stint at maine medical, waiting for answers that seem to take their sweet time coming. in some ways, she seems better than at any other time since her surgery almost two months ago, and so we hang onto that as an anchor, as a beacon of hope. the last three days have been relatively good ones. she has smiled. she has laughed out loud. her appetite seems to have returned, at least a little bit. she is doing everything imagineable to improve her strength, which means lap after lap (after lap, after lap), of pushing her walker around the sixth floor, with her IV tree (and my dad) following faithfully behind her.
last night i sent my sister a text message shortly after my dad and i arrived home from visiting my mom (he is staying with me in portland, which is a blog entry or two in and of itself). my text message: we watched an old lucille ball movie with mom, laughed our butts off and tucked her in at 8. I think she was asleep the minute we kissed her goodnight. She had a good day.
my sister replied: thank god, finally a happy day. funny how a happy day has a whole new meaning now.
"funny how a happy day has a whole new meaning now." that tiny little sentence has been stuck inside my head ever since i read it last night. the bare-bone truth of it is just...remarkable. for my family, happy days are now defined by very. simple. things. the sound of my mother's laughter. the warmth i feel, all the way down to my toes, when she smiles. or when i watch her eat a bird-sized meal and actually enjoy it. a game of cribbage from her bedside. a walk around the hospital wing.
two months ago, i never would have imagined that these tiny little moments would feel like extraordinary gifts. it's amazing how our perspectives have changed in that short period of time. we have watched my mother walk through fire, literally, with fevers that burned through the night. we have watched her navigate the fragile lines between life and death, and do it with a sense of grace and courage that is breathtaking. she has become our heroine, our angel, a living example of the power of the human spirit, and of love, and of dignity.
so yeah. her laughter, her smile, her ability to put one foot in front of the other...such simple things amid the world's complexities. yet for us...they are miracles more profound than the mind can comprehend, and that only the heart may know.