Friday, July 18, 2008

"how's your mom?"

last night monique, matt & i drove to bangor for the first of two community meetings we have planned (monday night we'll be in portland and if you haven't RSVP'd yet, there is still time and still room at the "inn"...) we had a terrific turnout, and jean vermette brought icecream, so really, what more can be said?

as always happens when i go up to bangor, i left feeling inspired and excited about the energy and commitment of our peeps up there. and i got to see my bangor boy kevin who was his Usual Hysterical Self. if laughter really is the best medicine, this man could perform medical miracles.

AND in a take-my-breath-away moment halfway through the meeting, the doors to the bangor uu church opened and in walked my long-lost-and-now-happily-found friend cindi which thrilled me beyond words...really, when she walked in, the whole world stopped moving for about 5 seconds and i just wanted to sprint across the room and give her a galaxy-sized hug. i could barely look at her because i knew if i did, i would lose complete and utter train-of-thought and never make it through the rest of the meeting. the moment it was over, i searched for the most direct path and gave her that hug. she smelled like rain. the past converged with the present and my friend was beside me. amazing. i just love. her. so much.

after the meeting a few of us went to a local restaurant for a late dinner, and having cindi and kevin sitting at the same table was magical. i think they've completely fallen in love with each other. this is no surprise to me and i expect that the next time i go north, the three of us are gonna paint that little town red. i cannot. wait.

so many people asked me about my mom, it was stunning. this is not an unusual thing...wherever i go lately, "how's your mom" is generally one of the first questions i'm asked. it's very, very sweet, and my mom seems to have become somewhat of a celebrity (she would love this.) someone mentioned to me last night that i should really do an update on The Slant because after following her story for the last ten weeks, people might want to know what the latest news is. again, very, very sweet.

so here it is:

she is doing just. fabulous. in fact, i don't think i've seen her looking and feeling this good in years. all of her doctors (and since her surgery on may 9th, she has a slew of them) have been amazed at her progress, particularly after the seriousness of her problems, many of which were truly life-threatening. infection--gone. IV antibiotics--done. back--healing beautifully.

she is relatively pain-free and even at this early stage of her rehabilitation, she is more mobil than she's been in 5 years. her physical therapist believes that by the end of the summer she'll be walking with just a cane as opposed to the awkward walker she pushes around now. in fact, if she continues to recover at this pace, she may be able to walk without any aid at all. um, wow. honest to gawd, it feels like a miracle. there were some horribly close calls in the last 10 weeks. we were terrified of losing her, and every day she is with us now is a gift.

so we have graduated from Cautiously Optimistic. i can talk about her health now without desperately searching for Wood To Knock On. sometimes when i call her, we can actually get through an entire conversation without talking about medication or visiting nurses or levels of pain. my dad, for the most part, has stopped following her around the house and watching Her Every Move, though she claims "he's starting to drive me a little bit crazy because he's so overprotective." i've tried to explain to her that he's probably traumatized from this whole thing. and then she'll say that as hard as it has been for her, she can't even fathom the toll it's taken on all of us, and especially him. true enough.

i've got some vacation time coming up in 7 days, 18 hours, 26 minutes (not that i'm counting) and i plan on spending at least a few days sitting on the deck in shapleigh with my mom. we're going to drink iced tea, play some cribbage, gossip about our crazy relatives, watch the grass grow. honestly, i will be completely content if all i do is just sit beside her. it's going to be most precious.

my mother. is. healthy.

i cannot begin to describe how it just felt to type that sentence.

life is good.

6 comments:

MRMacrum said...

That is great news about your mom. Cautiously optimistic is so much better than definitely pessimistic. Wish her well for me.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear the news. You will be missed this weekend. Our thoughts and hearts go out to you as you work and your mom as she heals.

Dawn on MDI said...

crap. hit the wrong button. that was me who was anonymous.... damned 'puter!

Laura D. on MDI said...

Darlene, you can't believe how great it was to read that 3rd to last sentence!

I have been reading along these posts about your mom with extra weight on my shoulders. Not knowing your mom's full story, but being afraid knowing of my own impending back surgery.

Audrey said...

you know it will be nice to see your Mom is a "non-horizonal" position.
glad she's doing well, but it really was no surprise - she's rather plucky.

Sarah P-H said...

Yes, glad to hear about your mom - but I got to tell you that recently. I wanted to comment and say that, on a recent drive to Boston, the church billboard on Route 1 had this gem of a statement: "Laughter is like an instant vacation." Just thought I would share it with you.