I am still out of town, visiting with my family as we wait and visit my mom in the ICU. She's very ill, and all we can do is pray for her, hold her hand and encourage her to open her eyes.
Waking up in the mornings to face yet another day has become heavy. And so has the walk into the hospital from the parking lot. Stepping out of the car, it feels like I have ankle weights on as I shuffle down the walkway, hardly seeing the trees lining it, and into the front door. The senior greeters at the front desk recognize members of our family now and follow us with compassionate eyes. Straight down the hallway, the ICU waiting room is on the right. Around the bend, you hit the plate on the wall to open the door. Wave your hand in front of a sensor to open another door, sanitize your hands, don a gown and mask and behold your loved one sleeping. Only they don't flip open their eyes and greet you. They remain still even as you caress their hands and run your hands over their hair gently. The nurses here are consistently competent and kind. With numerous hospitalizations in the last six months, my mom has endured some very ill-tempered, neglectful nurses that responded with a harsh, "What do you want???" when she pressed the call button for assistance. In her weakened state, she needed assistance to undo the many sensors and probes attached to her body and walk to the restroom. Making her wait or repeat the call time and time again was cruel.
I realize that they don't know her. They don't know that she has a very lively sense of humor and a quick wit. That she studied dance from the age of three in Japan and used to perform on grand stages. They don't know about the numerous challenges she has had to overcome in her life, that her own family is thousands of miles away in another country, that English is not her native tongue, and that the cafetaria never prepares food that tastes good to her. The menu is sadly lacking in anything remotely Japanese...
This still, slumbering woman on the bed does resemble my mom. Her face seems peaceful most of the time. And I pray that it is so, that her mind and her soul are resting. That her slumber is sweet. But I also hope for a moment, to look into her eyes and see peace. To understand where she is at. For my father to have this moment.
Last night, all I could say was, "God, my mom is sick. And I feel really sad." I know God heard me and understood me. I know He is with her. And that means the most. I love You, Lord.