Thursday, July 23, 2009


About a week ago, my parents were out on their driveway when they smelled something foul. They looked around, went and raised the door of my father's workshop, where the smell seemed to be coming from.

My father looked down -- the smell was from a dead snake. My mother had been out there a couple of days before, lowered the door, and without knowing it, crushed the head of a rattlesnake, its rattles raised.

"Mom!" my sister exclaimed, when they spoke about it, "You've got to be more careful, you've got to be more aware."

(I simply pointed out to Mom that it's good that God takes care of fools and children for which she heartily agreed.)

Sunday morning, as I was preparing for church, I got a phone call. It was my father. My mother had been in the hospital since midnight. Earlier in the day, she'd been dizzy and her teeth ached. She sat down and felt too tired to stand up. She knew that for women, a symptom of heart attack can be tooth or jaw pain. She chewed an aspirin, the best way to take it in that situation. She took her blood pressure. It was fine, but her pulse was racing. She told my father, "We'd better go to the hospital."

She was having what turned out to be a minor heart attack.

She's home now, and doing fine. They've got her on all kinds of drugs, and a heart monitor is on its way.

During this time with her in the hospital, the hours of procedures on her end, waiting for a phone call on my end, I was uploading all of our cds to an external hard drive, rediscovering old friends. I found Kate Bush's This Woman's Work.

I played it. I wept.

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman's work,
This woman's world...
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking

Of all the things I should've said,
That I never said.
All the things we should've done,
That we never did.
All the things I should've given,
But I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go,
Make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand...
All the things that you needed from me.
All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should've given,
But I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go away.
Just make it go away now.

Over the years since retirement, my father has had two bouts of melanoma, a near stroke, various ailments that come with age. My mother - nothing. She is tall and slender, won't even eat butter on her toast, mows the yard, keeps the house.

Twice now, with my father, she has also left her home to step into the roll of parent to her grandchildren, as I tended to Little Warrior.

She is empathetic with her words and actions, but strict with her words. When I would call home from college, whining about having 3 finals on one day, she would say, "Buck up!" It has become a joke between the two of us. Buck up. There's work to be done.

When we spoke on the phone the first time since she'd been admitted, she complained a bit about the tests and botheration. "Buck up," I told her. She laughed.

I don't watch So You Think You Can Dance, but a friend told me about this performance from last night. More coincidences.

Watch it, and maybe weep a bit. And then, buck up. There's work to be done.


Strange Attractor said...

Glad your mother in recovering well. All the best to her, and you, and your family.

ms. kitty said...

Yikes, the rattlesnake story is a bit unnerving. I'm glad your mom is safe and also feeling better.

Kari said...

I just listened to this song last week, this was beautiful. Thank you and blessings to you and your parents.

jbgrinch said...

glad to hear tha mom will be ok, I had a heart attack when I was 44, I was in MN. and just by chance the guy I was working for was married to the nurse in cardiac ICU. God does watch out for those who dont do it well themselves.
I hope that all goes as well for her as it has for me. Ill keep her in my prayers

Anonymous said...

Continued prayers for your mom. The video is amazing.

Kelly KH said...

I'm sorry that your mother is ill, but glad she is recovering well; sometimes I wonder if God hands us more than we can handle...just to see ;) Hang in there.

uuMomma said...

Healing thoughts to you all.