About a month ago my mother had surgery for ovarian cancer. She seemed to be recovering very nicely while she was in the hospital but we began to be concerned about her while she was recovering at home and at her two week follow up appointment, we learned that she had not healed properly and required another surgery. That was 10 days ago and we expect to be in the hospital for another week. One of my sisters has come from Alabama to help and what was expected to be a one month visit has turned into what will probably be two months. My other sister has come twice for long weekends to relieve us and to see Mom.
During this time out of respect for my mother’s privacy as well as her need for rest we have asked that she not have visitors at the hospital and have not relied heavily on friends to stay with her. My father was recovering from hip surgery (which he had a week before she was diagnosed) so he needed help at home and driving to and from everywhere he went. For this reason my sister and I divided our time with Mom into 24 hour shifts, every other day. I have to admit I was really worried about how exhausted I would become but instead I have found it to be a really blessed time.
During the days that Mom was drifting in and out of wakefulness without really waking completely, it was such a joy to care for her and to share the burden with my sister. So many times I was reminded of the times my mother came to care for me when my children were born. She would stay with us for two weeks, cooking, cleaning, and caring for the baby while we slept. Her advice and tenderness during those days made our homecomings almost magical in spite of medical complications.
As my sisters and I have worked together to take care of mom we have also watched out for one another, listening, advising, crying together, sharing our fears and thoughts as well as our prayers and hopes. I have been so grateful for the time with them and for our love for one another and I’m so aware that not every family has this kind of harmony and ability to work together. It is truly a blessing from God.
Each day has new challenges and new victories and we do not know what the future holds but we know that we have a loving Father who does know the future and holds it in His hands. And we know that we will walk into that future together, grateful for the time that we have.
Psalm 133:1, 3 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. . . For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” (ESV)