It is a bit after 7:00 pm on a Sunday night. It is raining. It is dark. It is cold.
My day began 12 hours ago when Barry texted me that there was a great probability that he would be discharged from the hospital today. I got to the hospital at 8:00 am… thinking that he’d be sitting on the edge of the bed, dressed and ready to head out. He was more than ready, but still hooked up to the intravenous contraption and still in a johnny.
We would wait like this until 3:30 pm. Unacceptable? Yes. Reality? More than yes.
We are home now, Barry and me… but my Mom is still hospitalized. I am physically and emotionally exhausted, but I am going to head out into the rainy, dark, cold night to visit my Mom. Because I love her. Because I know that although she told me not to come back tonight, she will be very joyous to see me. Hear my voice… my “Good night, Mom. I love you!”
It’s moments like these that we remember things from way, way back. I remember one such moment like it was yesterday. I was 6 years old. My family lived in California, and my Dad was stationed at the San Diego Naval Base. I had developed a severe cold… and awoke one morning struggling to breathe. I remember my Mom taking me into the bathroom and her turning on the hot water in the tub to make billows of steam. I sat on her lap. When that didn’t work, my Mom ran to our neighbor’s house and came back with the Mom of that house. Our neighbor immediatelty took my two brothers, and my Mom carried me to the back seat of our car. My Mom is very tiny… she was then, too… but I remember her carrying me like she was Hercules. I don’t know how fast she drove or how long it took to get there, but soon she was lifting me from the back seat and running with me into the medical center on the Naval base. I was put on a stretcher and taken somewhere… and she never left my side. I had never felt so safe in my entire life, even though I was so very sick.
All that day my Mom was by my side. I was diagnosed with asthma and having my first, but not last, asthma attack. Then I remember feeling better, but my Mom still carried me back to our car and gently put me in the back seat… and even then I remember thinking… how can she carry me? Because she was Hercules and I was her girl.
So tonight I head back to the hospital to say, “Good night, Mom. I love you!” I would crawl there if I had to.
Because now I am her Hercules.