Friday, December 16, 2011


I should be in the shower.  But I am not.  A chipper and very awake (as in way more awake than I am in the morning) lady called at 7:00 this morning to tell me that I shouldn't show up to the intermediate school until 9:30 instead of the scheduled 8:00 to assist with the Santa Shop.  I will let you in on a secret... I would have never made it by 8:00 anyway, so this works out golden for me!

This week... where can I begin.  I filled you in a little the other day, but the ups and downs and all arounds of life don't translate to black and white (or whatever color my words on my blog are... maybe pink?) very well.  I can tell you a story about it, but what I can't get across to you is how it really feels.

On Tuesday, we were smacked in the face with news about fluid around my mother's heart.  I knew she wasn't well and hadn't been for a several weeks.  A skin infection several weeks ago had prompted swelling in her left arm, and even though the infection was gone, the size of her arm never quite went back to normal.  The shortness of breath was steadily becoming more noticeable.  On Saturday when I saw her, she looked very swollen in her feet and her arms, and she couldn't walk very far without having to stop to catch her breath.  Disheartening doesn't describe how it feels to see your mother like this.  There's this ugly bitterness that threatens to bubble up within me... Why can't she have just one good day? She's been through so much... just make her feel better!!!

But through it all, my mom has this amazing quiet strength.  It's not an in your face strength, flamboyant and showy in nature.  It's a calmness and ease about her, one that doesn't want anyone to know how difficult it is for her to carry on her daily tasks, and one that maintains this even-keeled tenacity.  I bet you have never strung those two words together in a sentence... even-keeled and tenacity.  They typically don't mix, but they do inside my mother.  She's a fighter, resilient, strong, but she never lets anyone see her sweat.  When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

After tests and doctors and residents and two days in the hospital, she was discharged yesterday only to go sit and wait at the doctor's office to have fluid drained from her lung.  No procedure was ever done in the hospital.  We went from this is a critical situation to we're discharging you having done nothing.  Of course, I am relieved that they determined it wasn't a serious situation, but it would be nice if they could make those determinations without sticking my mom in a hospital bed for two days and worrying us all half to death.

And still, my mom sounds the same.  Through it all, she just remains the same.  Calm.  Patient.  Strong.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.  For who is God besides the LORD?  And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  Psalm 18:30-32

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