It's a year since I wrote about my mother in law in a post titled: Celebrating Someone Special She was turning 84 then.
On June 2nd she will be 85. This photo, with Paul, her middle son, was taken four years ago when he turned 60.
I was at a meeting this afternoon when my cell phone rang. When I heard my daughter-in-law Sue's worried voice on the other end I left the animated group of people deep into planning a course curriculum and found a quiet place to listen. My sister-in-law had been trying to reach us, but Sue didn't know why. A call to my answering machine at home gave the reason. I found a message there from Wendy saying that something had happened to Paul's mom--a stroke she thought-- and she was in hospital in the city of Barrie.
I quickly called Sue back and then went back into the board room and gathered up my laptop and briefcase with a quiet and hurried explanation to those who were reading worry on my face. Whispered promises of "We'll be praying," followed me out of the room as I left to drive the 70 km north to Barrie, calling Paul, Peter and Brenda on the way to the car.
Within an hour the city of Toronto was far behind me and I was passing the interchanges of Barrie. My boss had called while I was en route. He quickly promised that the office in Huntsville would be praying too.
As I pulled into the parking lot of the ultra-modern new hospital, I met sisters in law, a niece and several nephews on their way in too, and Paul was already there.
We were pointed to "Trauma 2" in the emergency department, with the admonition that only two visitors at a time would be allowed. And there we found her, smiling, cheerful, able to talk although her speech was slightly slurred; her right side paralysed, but happy that it was that side, because she is left handed.
We spent the next several hours rotating through the room, while a swallowing assessment was done and a bed was prepared; listening to the story of what happened.
It was mid morning when she had decided to go to her bedroom to check the computer and see if I had posted a new blog post--my almost 85 year old modern-mother-in-law! :) She felt unwell and had a feeling that she might be having a stroke. She sat down on the computer chair with wheels and pushed herself with the leg that still worked, to the computer, where she tried to reach Paul on Skype. He had just left for a meeting and wasn't in his office. She tried her grandson Tim next, who was downstairs. He didn't answer her Skype call either. He was asleep with the computer turned off.
Mum banged loudly enough to wake Tim up. When he came upstairs he saw that something was terribly wrong, and he called 911 even though she was protesting not to.
Mum's 85th birthday celebration will be in hospital but she is here and with us. We gathered around her bed before leaving and prayed our thanks.
Over forty years ago both of our mums used to sit together after church and talk about us (Paul and I) and how they hoped that one day we would get together. And we did, eventually!
And now we pray our thanks each morning that we still both have our mothers. We know that since they are both 85 this year, each day is a gift. We are living on grace and gratitude.