Photographing the sky kept me from thinking unwanted thoughts.
A week ago Bob met me as I was leaving my watercolor figure class to say we had to leave as soon as possible to make the 12-hour drive if we wanted to see my Mom again. She had been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and kidney failure and was not expected to live.
During this past week my feelings have run the gamut from dread, grief, anticipated loss, momentary optimism as color returned and oxygen levels rose, heartbreak as the frail heart struggled to maintain vitality and rapt attention each time a nurse or Doctor took her "vitals."
As I sat by her bed, life memories danced around the hospital room alternating with the black thoughts of endings and finality cowering in the shadows.
I felt temporary elation as her frail body recovered enough to leave the hospital but not enough to go home with my nearly 90-year old father--only enough to be moved to the "nursing home".
Generally I hate euphemisms but this is definitely an instance where I believe they are appropriate. The very mention of nursing home by the Doctor pushed all the fear buttons Mom's unpredictable reasoning powers could grab onto. Fortunately, 24 hours later her short-term memory and a few pain-killers had wiped her slate clean of the fearful words and she is now being informed that she has recovered sufficiently to be transferred to the Sierra Health Center (its actual name).
As the only child, having lost a brother in Vietnam, I have long dreaded this very occurance but now find a kind of relief in knowing that her condition will be monitored and if necessary--and possible--will be treated promptly. I know she will be well cared for, challenged to the extent that her physical and mental capacity will allow and given her medications in the proper amount and at the proper time.
Though not completely worry free I am much more relaxed than I have been for over a week.