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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Waiting Game

So my sick mother had a CT scan a few days ago to determine the cause of her liver inflammation. The scan revealed a blockage in one kidney but not much else so an MRI and other tests have been ordered. Next week, she'll go into the hospital to try to get most of the tests done in a timely fashion.

I'm a bit of the agnostic type but as I knew some results were coming in yesterday afternoon, after I dropped off Eliza at school, I swung back around to a local church and took Elena inside. I expected an empty church and some quiet time to light a few candles and say my own prayers. Instead I walked in on a mass already in progress. I decided to stay through the mass which was mercifully brief because to say Elena is not well versed on church etiquette is putting it mildly.

I sat in the last pew so I could made a quick exit if necessary. Right behind me was a pedestal containing a basin of holy water. Elena apparently mistook the pedestal as a water fountain and when I let her disappear for a moment behind me, I was shocked to find that she'd somehow managed to climb the pedestal and was slurping holy water. Horrified (and yes, I'll admit it, entertained), I wrestled Elena away from the holy water. She exhibited her displeasure by screaming at full volume for about two minutes. The Priest continued to speak, a few heads turned, the elderly couple closest to me scowled but finally the screaming fit was replaced by Elena's enthusiastic imitation of my shushing, followed by her slapping at my legs, saying, "stop that shh, no shh." Hoping for quiet, I let her toddle to the pew in front of me and ignored her as she lay down and say, loud enough for people in the next county I'm sure, "Nappy nap!" I'm sure you can imagine the fun she had with the kneeler at the bottom of the pew. Finding a "fan" at the end of that pew, ie an elderly man who was charmed by her noisy antics and waved, Elena responded by running over to him and promptly hiking her dress high over her head to show off her tummy and bloomers. The man looked away, I imagine not sure of what to make of this mass-attending strip-tease.

But the mass ended swiftly, I had my quiet moments to say, well beg, what I needed to say. Later that day, I brought both girls to see my mother. They fell asleep in the car so I left them in there while I asked her what the results were. Finding that everything was still up in the air but that my mother seemed a bit stronger, I woke the girls one at a time and led them into the house. We had a lovely evening. Elena ran into the house saying "Gandma! Gandma!" She jumped into my mother's arms and all the weakness seemed to leave my mother. Eliza ran up to my mother's chair and draped herself across my mother's lap. I didn't know that Eliza had been worried but I saw it in that moment, saw the relief in her eyes as she nestled against my mom. We ordered a pizza and my mom managed to eat two slices. Then we headed out to Rita's for an ice, my mother's first non-medical outing in a month. My mother surprised me by getting out of the car to eat the ice at the table. Eliza was cold and headed back into the car, waving to us from the open window. Elena waved back, calling "Hi Sissy! Hi 'Yiza" when Eliza disappeared inside the car. Eliza poked her head out the girls seemed to have their own moment.

So we wait but for now, after that wonderful night, I have more hope than I had a few nights ago. I'm so lucky to still have my mom after all the health issues she's had and I try to cherish each good time as much as I can because I know, there's no guarantees here. I know that life is a finite thing, that death is something none of us escape. But that doesn't mean I'm in any way prepared to lose my mom.

So for now, we had last night. I hold onto that, the image of her seated at the table with me and Elena, happily eating her mango ice, while Eliza waved to us from the car.

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