Standing guard

I was a having a totally excellent day with the Precious the other day.  We walked in the sunshine; it was that typical beautiful Fall day that you makes you forget winter is coming.  Cool, crisp air, blue skies, multi-coloured leaves, the whole deal.  We come home and I shovel lunch into the big guy’s mouth, a bottle, and he goes down without a squawk.  I settle down with my laptop, expecting to take him for another walk later to pick up some DVDs later for transcription work and the phone rings.  My mum fell down, split her lip and lost her tooth.  She tripped over some sort of threshold that construction workers put down in the dining hall.  They were sending her to emergency for stitches.

I called hubby and luckily he could come home to mind the baby.  I picked up the DVDS and then went to the emergency to wait with mum.  When I found her she was sitting on the bed with her big eyes staring up at me.  She looked like a lost little girl.  My heart broke.  She was doing okay, but I just wanted to break down and cry.  There was a laceration just on her top lip and a deep gash underneath.   She only had the front two and now she had one.   They couldn’t find it at the home.  It wasn’t a critical situation so we had to wait a while to see a doctor.   Oddly, we were in the pediatric care room so we had a TV.  I turned it on and I sat down beside mum and chatted with her.  She told me not to cry.  I managed for her sake.

When the doctor came, he discussed the possibility of not doing stitches because she might become combative and he didn’t want to put her under.  Well, I know my mother better than anyone and he meant well, and I’m going with the assumption that he was thinking of what would be easier for mum instead of him.    I told him to get her some sedatives; she was getting very, very restless and was wandering around the ER and I could only redirect her so much.  So they got her medication, she calmed down and they froze her lip and did the stitches no problem.  I couldn’t be in the same room when they did all that.  I just waited outside.  Makes me wonder what I would do it if it was the Precious.  Except my mum is a grown up and though fragile, she is a warrior.  To see her like that though just made me so sad.  The doctor was very sweet.  At one point, he commented that, “This must very difficult for you.”  I just replied that it had been a long road and I was just grateful for the time we shared. I have to say that hospital is great and staffed with some very caring professionals.  It was important to be there for someone to make sure that they know that old lady over there is LOVED and will get the care she needs in a reasonable amount of time.

I looked across the room and saw another senior laying silent on a gurney and no one was there waiting with her.

Later that night, I got another call that she had fallen off her chair but that she was fine.  Sigh.

I did one hour daimoku for her and all the mothers out there who need it.


8 thoughts on “Standing guard

  1. Oh Deathstar,

    This post resonated with me. It brought me right to those moments. I thought of how powerful it is that your mother has you as an advocate for her. I thought of the other person on the gurney, alone.

    Sending lots of love your way — I know that to be the one standing guard can be exhausting.




  2. I know how exhausting it is to be parenting a toddler and a senior, not to mention trying to work and maintain a marriage. Many people crumble under the weight of this very thing.

    Your plate is overflowing dear.

    Know this…… someday you will look back and NOT have any “I wish I had” or “I should have” when it comes to your mother. The family of the senior that was alone…..they will likely be full of regrets.

    You make sure she is cared for, and though she often doesn’t realize how frequently you are there, I imagine there is a part of her that does know…in some sense…that she is very loved.

    You are also teaching Precious empathy, and love. Yes, he is young, but he is watching and learning, and you are a wonderful teacher.

  3. This reminds me so much of my own mother, when I was a child, taking care of my grandmother and us.

    Growing old is not for the faint of heart, someone told me once.

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