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The Next Day

By Belinda

The next day in Mum's story of 2003/04...

Rob and I had visited Mum at the hospital the day before--my first time with her since her stroke. This had been so different from all of our previous reunions. She expressed resignation and acceptance and I saw sadness in her eyes and on her face. 

Before going to see her again we went shopping for a new pillow, duvet, and sheets for Mum's bed, and then we headed for the hospital.

We found her asleep again, as she had been the day before when we arrived, but this time she was sitting up in a chair, and she woke as soon as I touched her arm. Her eyes were sunken and tired, and she said that she hadn't slept at all that night.

Even so, I was struck by how beautiful her dear face was; those beautiful eyes; looking more like her own mothers' with every passing year; and her lovely complexion, and her abundant silver gray hair, simply combed back. 

I grieved for what she and we had lost, but was so grateful for what and who we still had. I prayed that God would show me how to make her life the best it could be, with the help of Rob and Paul too.

The next day was a Sunday, and I walked through the village to Alvechurch Baptist Church, finding the small church flourishingly full with about 70 people and only a few empty pews.

After the service I stayed for a cup of coffee in the church hall, where several people were anxious for news of Mum, especially Trudy Cluderay (who you can read more about HERE), her dear friend who lived at number 30 Snake Lane. Trudy, at 89, amazed me. She was bright, energetic, and in the midst of having her house renovated.

Later, after church, Rob dropped me off at the hospital early, so that I could spend as much time as possible, visiting with Mum, and he and John, his son, would join us later.

Rob suggested that I take her glasses again; she kept sending them home with him, having no interest in wearing them. This time, she said, "Yes, I'll wear them," and was happy to keep them on when we left.

On the way to her room, I bought both of us a Cadbury's Flake, as I hadn't had breakfast or lunch yet that day.

At first Mum let it lie there on on her tray. Then I encouraged her to have a bite. She proceeded to eat the whole thing!

We enjoyed a hot drink together when the coffee wagon came around--she had hot chocolate and I had coffee.

I read the Daily Light to Mum and told her all about the morning, and passed on the loving messages from her many friends, and from one of her sisters, Tante Adrie, who had called the night before. We had a wonderful time of just "being" together. 

We began to talk about how, once she was home, there was no reason she could not still go to her Sycamore club for seniors on Mondays; the hair dresser; the coffee morning, and church. I told her that she had a lot of living yet to do, and I could see Mum "seeing" that too.

Later that evening, Mum's dear friend from Holland, Tante Mies, called. She had been beside herself, sleepless with concern for Mum and said that she prayed for her morning and night.

All in all, the troops were rallying for Mum. And I could tell, she was on her way back to "life."


swissdebbie said…
Yes on this picture she looks very much like oma, except for the hair...
It takes a while for one's eyes to leave 'lost' and move to 'left'. She had living left to do, and, she will have discoverded, loving left to do. I can't tell you how much I'm loving this journey you've taken us all on.
Belinda said…
Deb, I had to take a photo digitally of this photo to post it on the blog. I'm so glad you got to see Oma in her eyes.
Belinda said…
Dave, thank you for journeying with me and for understanding so perfectly.
Anonymous said…
I got such a chuckle over the rallying around the chocolate. Oh the allure, the pull of the delicious sweet melting chocolate. My mother, not feeling well many times with lack of energy and mind strength still managed to work chocolate into her day. Of course, with all the studies on chocolate, it probably did your mom more good than jello!!! Thanks for continuing to share.

PS: Your mom is so beautiful! I say IS for I'm confident she is even more so in glory!
Belinda said…
Anonymous, it was a sure sign of hope when the Flake vanished in entirety! :) Thank you for the compliment on Mum's beauty. Although I see her vulnerability and the sadness in her eyes, I treasure this photo and usually it is on my bedside table; looked at and often kissed before I go to sleep.

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