Monday, April 11, 2016


"You should think about coming."  

I got three of those phone calls. Not come now, or this is it, or tomorrow might be too late. 

"You should think about coming."

I froze every time. I didn't want to make that decision, as if making it acknowledged things were that bad. That there was a chance my mom wouldn't survive. That in a heartbeat she could be gone. 

I wanted someone to tell me what to do. 

I wanted someone to tell me it would be ok. Deeper than that, I wanted my mom to tell me she would be ok.

But she wasn't. 

I flew down three times last month, not knowing, when I got on the plane if she'd still be there when I landed. I spent hours and hours in ICU's and critical care rooms. Acclimating to incessant beeping and pulsing monitors. Negotiating with doctors and nurses in a language I didn't understand. Days full of stents and hospital psychosis, oxygen masks and ice chips, fresh blood and more medications than one could imagine, cajoling her into sipping water, eating, and breathing deep. When she told me she loved me and that I couldn't help being so annoying, my heart swelled. It was a moment. 

It became about moments. 

When she was on breathing and feeding tubes but smiled when she saw me. 

That was a moment.  

When she told me that I come and miracles happen. 


When she said she had been in a bad place but when I got there she was able to get back to the other side. Or: I feel such happiness knowing I've raised such a lovely, thoughtful daughter

Moment. And moment. 

When she clutched the stuffed dog I'd brought her and said it was her only ally, holding it tight when she was awake, stroking it in her sleep. 


Chatting about nothing. Explaining that her parents loved her even though they weren't there. Kissing her forehead. Holding her hand. Struggling and then understanding what she meant through her medicated haze.  


But I think, the most profound was the most simple. One morning I walked in and she said: Good morning pusselah schentz. I love you. 

In spite of the chaos and fear and no guarantees she would be ok, I got to hear my mom say she loved me. And in that moment all was far better than ok.  My heart filled, I told her I loved her, and things were just fine.