If I were an artist

If I were an artist, or had any artistic ability whatsoever, I would paint the scene outside the window beside me where I sit with my feet elevated in a recliner beside Mom’s bed. She has just now fallen asleep so I will have to save her lunch for her when it arrives in the next few minutes, although I know she won’t eat more than a bite or two of this or that.

This room at Hospice of Dayton is comfortable and the service superb. Mom has been here under their care since Thursday afternoon when she left the hospital to transition through here before going back home to her new little assisted living apartment. “I just hope I feel good enough to be able to enjoy it here,” Mom said of her new apartment after we moved her in but before all the original artwork from family members was hung, framed pictures still setting on the floor in stacks leaning against the walls.

I do too, Mom. I do too.

Christmas evening my little celebration planned for her and Dad got derailed when the nurse taking care of Mom said, “I’m so glad you’re here. Her blood pressure is too high and we may need to send her out tonight.”

Mark and three of our kids went over to the nursing care unit to visit Dad, while I waited with Mom to determine the success of the latest attempt to lower her blood pressure to something considerably lower than the 247 it was currently at. The nurse, under the guidance of the nurse practitioner, had been working on this for over two hours. My siblings and I had been fighting Mom’s skyrocketing blood pressure ever since she found out about the cancer throughout her abdomen on December 2nd. Her blood pressure could have been high longer than that from the stress of taking care of Dad at home and helplessly watching his decline. We don’t know because Mom was unwilling to leave Dad and go to the doctor for her own medical concerns which included increasingly painful digestive problems.

“We think she should go out to the hospital,” her nurse said.

Mom didn’t want to go.

“I think we should follow the medical advice we’re getting,” I told her. “That’s what you want me to do for Dad, don’t you?”  I need to make these kinds of decisions now  that I am the health care power of attorney for both Mom and Dad.

“I don’t want to leave your dad,” she said.

Dad is a little walk away, through a door and down a long breezeway. And even though Mom’s not felt good enough since she’s been there to see him more than once, I made a promise I hoped I could keep, “You’ll be able to see him when we get back.”

So we went to the hospital on Christmas night. Hospice came there on Thursday. And we moved Mom to the Hospice care site for 5-7 days to try to get her pain and symptoms controlled and develop a care plan she will be successful with when she goes back home.

I have at least found a temporary place of rest here. I spent Thursday night in her room on the chair that converts to a bed. I lied, on the relatively hard surface, awake watching the tiny dots of green light float across the ceiling and down the walls from the projector on the shelf above Mom’s bed. It looked like a million stars in the night.

And now I sit and look out her window at the snow scene beyond. A lamplight stretches up beside a sycamore tree. They mark the edge of a pond. The limbs of the trees in the woods beyond the water are decorated with white. A bright red cardinal landed on the evergreen beside her window for a moment. It’s quite lovely really.

If I were an artist I would paint it.

Advertisements

Author: CMSmith

I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, photography, genealogy and travel. I have opinions about many things, but am trying to age gracefully and not continually tick people off with them. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

11 thoughts on “If I were an artist”

  1. I like how you contrast the tumult happening indoors with the calm and serenity of what you see outside. We all search for something that would bring a promise of good outcomes. I hope the cardinal’s brief visit does the trick!

  2. It’s rare that someone so eloquently lays out their heart with words, as you managed to do with this beautiful post. I don’t like to say that it’s “beautiful” because of the obvious turmoil and pressure that you are under. And yet this is the exact duality that you expressed in your writing…while sad and heart-wrenching, there is an underlying peace and beauty that rises to the surface. Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂

  3. Aww . . . I’m sorry that your Christmas celebration got derailed.

    Hope that things start looking up for us all. I will be glad to see the tail-end of 2012 disappear tomorrow night ~ this has not been the happiest of years.

    Here’s to brighter horizons in 2013.

  4. You words provided some great artistry – sorry about the situation, but at this time in life I think that is becoming the new normal. Being calm and resigning yourself to it is a wonderful gift to yourself and will help a lot as decisions need to be made.

    Thanks for letting us know what’s happening.

    Nancy

  5. Hi Christine,
    I left a comment from your Goodreads page, but apparently it didn’t save…?…
    Just wanted to say, I could really imagine myself there with you and your mom. Your writing is so touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this story.

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s