Sunday, May 14, 2006

holding hands

this weekend i sat with my mother-in-law, Trish Johnson. i held her hand most of the afternoon yesterday and part of today. i was so relieved to discover that her hand had so much strength and so much to say. her right side is very weak but her left is where she is most responsive. i sat and watched her yesterday and i kept wondering what she was thinking, what she was feeling. are you in pain? are you upset? are you afraid? are you even aware of what is happening to you? from the touch of her hand, i felt normalcy. i felt something familiar. i felt the trish that would say my name a certain way when i walked into the room or when she answered the phone. her hand gave me a sign that she's still here and she still loves me. her hand made me know that she is not lost, but rather, trying to find her way to letting everyone know that she's okay. from the touch of her hand, i felt her life.

the doctor's are not sure how much time she has left with us. she is no longer on any treatment and is being visited by hospice daily. i want to scream -- "don't die, don't die...PLEASE!! DON'T DIE!" What can I do? What can I do to stop what's happening to her?

even though her hand, her life, was in mine, i still miss her. i want her to be able to come and visit us in our home. i want to know what she's up to. i need her to keep coordinating all of us and making sure all of the finer details are taken care of. i long for her to call me and let me know how she's doing and who she's hanging out with for the weekend. i want to watch her and ted share a kiss in the kitchen after preparing a meal together for us all day. i want to see her and millie decorate the house together. i wish she could of taught me and teddy how to make her spanikopita. i need her to take the next good book i read off my hands for awhile and then talk to me after she's done reading it about what she liked and didn't like. i want her to just know that all her worries and frustrations were going to be okay.

all around their house, there are beautiful orchids. what i've learned since i have had a few in my home is that sometimes the blooms come in great strength and while their there, you love to enjoy what they represent -- beauty, growth, amazingness. then, they begin to fall, one by one until you're left with a stem. it's the same stem that brought about the beautiful and amazing growth but it needs to start over again. i've been unsuccessful in bringing any blooms back with my own orchids and i remember Trish saying the same thing about hers. it saddens me because i know the possibility that lies in that stem but i don't know what to do to make it feel better so that it will bloom in full strength again.

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