Waiting for the sun to rise, finishing my tea, contemplating breakfast before walking the dog. It’s thirty-five degrees out there, gonna be a brisk trundle along the Airline Trail, but it’s my sort of morning. I don’t mind the cold.
I don’t really want to write about Mom this morning. There’s stuff going on, but nothing definitive. We have a care conference tomorrow to see where things are headed. Suffice to say that nothing much has changed or improved. I’ll report back later.
When I visited her on Saturday, though, I took a few moments to let her chat with my husband and a friend, and strolled down to the nurses’ station to get their feedback on her condition. Met an elderly woman in a wheelchair as I went down the corridor. I’ve seen her before. She always looks vaguely distressed. She met my eyes this time, clearly agitated, and half-lifted a hand, so I went to her. I couldn’t entire make out what she wanted, but I listened and then promised to ask a nurse to help her.
“Oh, thank you!” she said with obviously relief.
“You know,” I said, trying to change the topic, get her away from whatever was bothering her, “You look very nice. That’s a lovely outfit. And I love your necklace.” It was a big, long, gaudy inexpensive strand of big gold beads that all but pooled in her tiny lap. “You look like a flapper.”
She laughed and toyed with the necklace as if dancing. It was a wonderful moment…and then she took my hand, kissed it, and said, “God bless you,” and I was overcome with the realization that all I had done — all she wanted anyone to do — was to SEE HER. Really and truly SEE HER. Not brush by as they worked the unit. Not meet her eyes and look away. SEE HER – who she is, as she is, where she is. Acknowledge that she is alive and deserving of attention.
Isn’t that what we all want?