This September it will be 40 years since I left England as a bride of 19, with Paul, for the fair land of Canada.
Although the years have found Mum and I crossing the Atlantic countless times, to be together; in 40 years, this is the first Mothering Sunday that I have spent with my Mum.
It was a priceless gift to be here for this special day and to spend it lavishing love on Mum--doing my own bit (but not too much) of mothering of her.
Over the past couple of weeks I have told her countless times how much I love her. I have held her hand and sat beside her for hours, happy just to be with her.
Yesterday our prayers were answered and Mum came home by ambulance, two days earlier than originally planned, in response to begging from all of us for no delay. She did not contract any nasty bugs in the hospital and she recieved good care. While she was gone, two new pieces of equipment arrived that will make life easier for her, so she is all set up for now.
Her Helping Hands ladies don't start back until Monday noon, which is not a problem since I am here and happy to be the helping hand.
This morning Mum woke up at 8.30 after sleeping for 13 hours. She was so exhausted from the journey home and the excitement of being here at last. Robert told me that many elderly people fear going into hospital desperately as they are convinced that once in, they will not come out. Sadly that is too often true.
She started the day with a shower--the first in some weeks, during which she has had sponge baths. I took pleasure vicariously in her feeling warm water on skin and feet soaking in several inches in the bottom of the tub while she sat on the shower bench.
Afterwards, warm towels and cream massaged into dry skin, fresh clothes and a walk back into the living room. Her leg muscles have atrophied alarmingly and every step is a step towards strength. Her balance is much better and she is learning to use the new walking frame that came with her from the hospital. It seemed like mastering a skateboard at first--getting the balance, remembering to lean forward. On the first day, it tilted scarily several times and I stood behind her like a catcher in a baseball game, but today she was a pro.
It was hard to watch her struggle. The struggle is necessary for freedom and independence. Oh, how I longed to ease the path, but true helping is not helping until really needed. I guess that's a lesson we learn all through life in many kinds of relationships.
I went shopping for new clothes that will be more functional we hope, and also found some wonderful slippers that come up around the ankles and close with velcro. They will keep her feet warm and steady on the ground. How good it was to be here to do that.
On Monday morning when Mum's energy is still at its highest, we will have the great trying on of clothes so that I can take back the ones that don't fit or don't work.
It is my last day here, and while I wish I had just a few more days, I am so happy with the time I have been privileged to have. It feels like my mission is accomplished and I can go home with peace of mind and heart.
To all who have cared, prayed and been with us on this journey, we send our warmest thanks.