Sunday, February 8, 2009


Here I am, sitting at my mother's beside at the hospital. Yesterday she suffered yet another stroke, seemingly while she was sleeping Thursday night. She awoke without her faculties of speech.

It was just two weeks ago that I had made the pilgrimage home to spend a weekend night with my folks. Both are getting on the older side, well into their eighties. My father is in great health and to look at him you'd think he's a man in 10-15 years younger than he is. My mother hasn't been as fortunate. She suffered her first stroke that left her hospitalized for several months. I remember when I first saw her at the hospital, she was strapped into a chair. I asked one of the nurses at the nursing station some questions about her medication and miscellaneous trifles about her behaviour. I could tell that my mom was squirmy because her inner program told her to get home. Her stay there was comprised of her being confined in high back rolling chairs, restraints and she slept in a mesh tent that zipped closed from the outside so she couldn't escape in the middle of the night. Horribly demeaning for someone so gracious. One of the nurses I'm assuming was having a bad day. She maybe had had a bad morning with her kids, a fight with her husband, a disagreement with one of the could have been anything, snapped at me. "The way she is now is the way she's going to be. Period." She then went into a diatribe about how the brain doesn't regenerate after there has been vascular damage. "That part of her brain is dead." Not a very upbeat notion for a family member at a hospital.

Of course, that was an unacceptable answer. And God bless her, my mother went on to prove them all wrong by recovering the majority of her previous physical and mental capabilities. We even baked the nurses some cupcakes and brought them to all the nurses that had cared for her. That put a little sweet mud in their faces!

She still would have memory lapses since that first big stroke, but that is fine by me. I'm told that she has had several 'mini strokes' since then. The small vascular membranes in her brain have begun to deteriorate, so the lack of blood flow causes these problems to happen. The fact that she never recovered her ability to discern blue from red didn't matter to us. The fact that she could no longer on her own prepare family meals didn't matter either. What we most cared about is that she was comfortable, free of pain and had moments of joy.

What brings my mother the most joy is to have her family around her. Her face lights up when my brother, my daughter and I come to visit. So you can imagine my sorrow for her and for me that she doesn't know who I am. My dad said that he didn't think she recognized him as well. My brother hasn't had the opportunity to be here yet so he is spared that, for now. But she is responding to commands by the nurses to squeeze this or push against there is cognitive recognition. So there is hope.

She did it before...fought against the odds of recovery. She does seem quite frail lying in this hospital bed with tubes and bags and monitors. She presently is sleeping peacefully. The sound of the beeping, the view of the monitor scanning her brain wave's pretty surreal. Like something out on a movie set. I believe that she will wake and have the fight to live, so there is that chance that she will do it again. If anyone would like to say a prayer for her....that would be more than welcome. We all could do with a little extra help right now.

My mom's name is Thelma...she's the sweetest woman in the world. I'd love to have her around for a few more years if God is willing. Her presence in this world brings me joy.

As I was getting ready to leave for the night, she awoke and there was recognition in her eyes. I hugged and kissed her and let her know that we all love her deeply. Tears formed in her eyes as she gently hugged me back. She was trying to say something, but I didn't know what it was she was trying to express. Knowing my mother, being the kind, generous, giving person she is...she was wishing me a safe trip home. Always thinking of others. She's quite an amazing woman.

Having people like my mom in this world gives me hope that everything will be okay. God Bless You mom...I love you.


  1. I will say a prayer for both you, your family and your mom. Your story brought tears to my eyes. My own mother suffered from several strokes herself until a heart attack took her away. It's hard to see loved ones disabled. Thanks for your story.

  2. I'm still praying for your mom. The last comment looks like I could have written it because the same thing happened to my mom. It is hard to see loved ones disabled and doubly hard when its your parents. I haven't seen any updates, I hope I haven't missed something. I pray that she is on her way to proving the doctors wrong again. May God give you all strength.


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