3 weeks ago this morning, I sat for hours in the “family room” of my local hospital, waiting for the silent footsteps of my Mom’s surgeon… to tell me the news of my Mom’s surgery.
It had been an emotional early morning (albeit entertaining afternoon).
I tried to read. I studied the pattern of the carpet. I listened to the teenaged girl across the room breathe softly as she slept on her grandmother’s arm. I watched the agony on the face of one elderly man, all alone in his thoughts in that quiet room. I wondered about their stories.
I tried to use my cell phone. No service. I felt cut off from the world in that little, silent room.
I thought back to August 8, 1975. I vividly remembered in far-too-much-detail driving frantically to that same hospital after an early morning call from my sister-in-law telling me that my Dad had been rushed there by ambulance.
My Dad would die that morning. Before I arrived. 15 minutes. He was gone. 47 years old. I remembered the nurse who ran to get me in the hall of the ER. I remembered that the world was silent. I knew. Because the world was silent. I had never experienced silence like that in my life.
This “family room” waiting for the surgeons to come with their silent footsteps was silent like that.
It frightened me.
One by one, surgeons came into that “family room” of silence. Silence turned to hugs. Relief. Smiles.
Then more silence for me alone.
I talked to my Dad… whom I have talked to in Heaven every single day for 36+ years. My Dad loved my Mom so very much… but I asked him to please let her stay with me. I told him that I didn’t like the irony of this hospital. My Dad and I had many long talks, many laughs, so much love… and he knew how feisty I could be when I wanted something. I wanted my Mom. I prayed. My eyes filled with tears as I waited, waited for those silent footsteps and prayed and talked to my Dad some more as I remembered his giant hugs & kisses…
Then the silence was broken by those silent footsteps. I can’t explain the silence of those shoes and the ability to hear that silence. But it’s true.
The surgeon had good news. Everyone in that “family room” had good news that morning.
It was a good morning at that hospital. I thanked God. I smiled up at my Dad.
My Mom would recover nicely during her stay at that hospital. She would head to a rehabilitation facility for 2 weeks where she would be known as the Queen of Rehab.
And she would return home. Last Friday.
All settled in, with meals ala Sharon and a visiting nurse and rehab therapist.
All good. All good.
And yesterday, I think, was one of the simplest and best days of my life.
Simple days are like that, you know.
A joyous, simple afternoon of my Mom, 2 of my grandsons, Ben and Henry, and ice cream at Newport Creamery on a windy, sunny Autumn day.
It was my Mom’s first outing since her surgery. It was a short little drive across the street from her senior complex, but a journey that criss-crossed time and generations and heaven and earth and gathered all the love there is to gather.
When I had helped everyone from my car and was locking all the doors, I looked up to see this…
3-year old Henry and 4-year old Ben guiding my Mom and my Mom guiding them… tightly holding hands, off to their ice-cream journey.
But really, really… I saw a journey of every love lesson the world has to offer.
Great-Grandma Rita is back in action!
I thank God and all my listeners for answering my prayers. I thank all of you out there who prayed for my Mom. And Dad, I thank you and love you for your giant hugs & kisses you send through your beautiful Rita…