I have had one heck of a week. My mom was diagnosed with cancer seven days ago, and even though the tests for it began a month prior there was no preparing for when the call finally arrived.
Part of me sighed in relief, because at least the wondering was over. At least we can do something. The A-student in me desperate to be put to work.
Since then, more than once I've been reprimanded by nurses. When I'm over eager to answer for my mom, who is tired but still able to speak for herself, I'm told that they want to hear from her. She is the patient, they remind me.
Right, and I am her daughter. I forget that important point sometimes. I liken it to how soldiers must feel on the front lines; at the ready at any moment. I'm convinced that someone needs to be defending my mom and her care at all times or something will be missed. But in reality, there aren't answers yet and no matter how hard I push, we need to wait.
After a particularly long day, I texted with a friend that in January I set Patience as my theme for this year, and little did I know how much I would need it.
As I told her how frustrated I was, I realized that maybe the waiting is a gift.
It has to be, I thought. Even if I don't know why we are being granted this time -- without all the answers, with extra days in the hospital, hours passing while we stare silently at each other in her room -- maybe someday I will appreciate why we have it.
My friend responded, calling me courageous.
I shook my head and typed back that it wasn't courage; it was willing myself to find something constructive I can hold onto while we all ride the wave.
She said, "The real courage lies in the part of the human spirit that finds the will to look for, and choose, the positive."
Then she sent me this quote:
"Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes it is the small voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow." ~ Maryanne Radmacher
I'm home now in my jammies and Mom is hopefully sleeping in her hospital bed amidst beeping machines and hourly check-ins by the nurses. I wish I could be there every minute to make it better for her, and I also know that my being there isn't always helpful.
When I return, I hope I appreciate our time more. I hope I remember to be a daughter first, and care advocate a far second.
I hope I have the courage to face the unknown gripping all of us in that hospital room.