It was my turn to stay with my mom at the hospital last night. We arrived after 11pm (my evening nap lasted a bit longer than anticipated) to relieve my dad so he could head home for much needed rest. A bit after midnight David picked up the boys, my dad left and my mom and I got down to the business of serious rest. By a stroke of perceiving the obvious (how did we all miss it for five days?), my mom suggested we move the table-on-wheels to the other side of the bed so she could reach her phone, mouth swab, etc. In this way, I was able to get some sleep and my mom felt less at loose ends.
My dad arrived at 6:30 this morning, I left at 8:30, planning on getting coffee, a few groceries, breakfast, and a shower. I’ve managed three out of four so far. Showers take a backseat as needed, though I may yet get clean.
Here’s the gift. Last night, trying to get up after the nap, I was tired like a lead weight, but I knew my responsibility so went to the hospital. This morning I’ve been happily surprised by an abundance of unexpected sweetness. I had a choice between getting coffee at Starbucks or Common Ground. Though I wasn’t interested in conversing (almost inevitable at the Co-op), I followed a twinge of intuition and drove into the mall lot to find the weekly Farmer’s Market in full swing. Again I almost left, but followed that small inner voice.
First, my favorite cashier was at Common Ground and I thoroughly enjoyed our brief visit. Second, coffee in hand, I ambled the Market, aisle by aisle, trailed and led by the memories of all the years we’ve been going there. Images of Bill and Bahiyyih, our small fry in strollers and toddling beside, how I arranged the world and the contents of my mind back then, it all walked with me, hand in hand with the most recent recollection, the few hours I had just spent in the hospital with my mom, praying, laughing together some, doing my best to help her be comfortable, listening to her converse with her dreams in the dark morning, and how I am simply taking life day by day just now.
As I’ve been about town this Saturday morning, I find my heart reaching out to each and every person I pass. I stare too long, but I must be smiling right. So many people have smiled back, seeming to be genuinely pleased with the interaction.
I’m tempted to head back over to the Farmer’s Market to see if Michael the One Man Band is there yet, but really, a shower would be a good idea…