Sunday, October 21, 2007

Healing Rain


I set my alarm last night to be sure to wake up in time for yoga class this morning. Just like services at my Unitarian church, yoga is spiritual and meditative, but it's also physically challenging, the perfect way to start a Sunday.

Unfortunately, the phone woke me before the alarm. It was not good news. My mother was in the ER and had been there for almost 24 hours. Anyone who knows my mother knows how desperately she doesn't want to 'trouble' her family. The message I received was that she was there but she did NOT want to see anyone.

We've heard that before.

The rain hammered against my windshield as I rushed to the hospital, my stomach in knots. Flashbacks from every other visit to the ER were coming in waves. I remember my own scary emergency visits, anxious episodes with my husband and children, and various trips there for my mother. Each one was was filled with pain, nervous tension, uncertainty.

I found my Mom huddled in a chair, looking small and fragile. The excruciating stomach pain that had prompted her to call an ambulance and go to the hospital the previous morning was gone. Now she was weak, hungry, and desperate to get out of there.

There were two other elderly ladies in the room with her. Each of them was waiting, and it seems to me that that's what you do in ER. Wait for test results. Wait for doctors. Wait to be released or admitted. So much uncertainty. So little privacy. Not even a door on the bathroom, only a curtain.

As we waited I watched the medical staff go about their duties. Thank goodness for these wonderful saints who are willing to work in the ER. It is not an occupation for an emotional weakling like me.

After a couple of hours I left my mom with some trashy magazines and a promise to return later and then dashed back through the monsoon to attend a memorial service for my friend, Buff, who died exactly a year ago. It was a beautiful service with a couple professional vocalists, (people who Buff had helped get their start in the business) an open mike for those of us who were brave enough to share memories and a reading from his just-launched biography. Buff's father read from some of the many heart-warming letters he received after Buff's death and there was a slide and video presentation. Buff's dad was a trooper, taking many of us aside and telling us what we had meant to his son. The drumming of the rain on the church roof gave sound to the tears that were being shed inside, healing tears. It was a beautiful tribute, and I only wish more people had been able to attend. The thousand plus attendees at his service last year had dwindled down to about seventy five, but I know that even in my own family, one of my daughters had a commitment that made it impossible for her to attend and another had to leave early.


After the service I received the good news that my mom had been released from the hospital and was resting at home. As usual, we don't know what caused the pain and can only hope it won't reoccur.

Tonight the rain is still pounding against the window. I'm thinking of my mom and sending healing energy her way. I'm hoping for a wee break in the weather, just a hint of sunshine will do. (Winston would really like to be taken on a walk a little farther than the backyard fence.) I'm trusting that the memorial service will have brought some closure and healing to Buff's dad and the rest of his family. And... I hope to make it to yoga class tomorrow, to restore my equilibrium.








11 comments:

sparkybear said...

I know this erevelent but I just have to say something.....I love your book dancing naked I'm 14 years old and I read that book in 2 days because I didn't put it down and now I'm reading it again. you are an amazing author and you ideas are incredable (i can't spell) I am yet to read another on sun signs I think that's the name of it well i really enjoy your books and keep making them I'll keep reading them thanks your very talented

Shelley Hrdlitschka said...

Hey sparkybear,
I'd send you a personal note if I knew your email address. Thank you so much for your kind words. You have made my day! I have 2 new books coming out so I hope you'll get a chance to read them, too.

Thanks again for taking the time to write to me.
Shelley

Anonymous said...

Shelley, thanks for your healing and thoughtful words. You captured perfectly the clutching anxiety of the drive to the hospital and the impotent sorrow we feel when we see our parents in pain, worried and frightened.

I particularly relate to that sense of the lack of dignity and privacy for elderly people. My mother is in the hospital recovering from a stroke and she has not been eating or drinking because she so hates to be unable to go to the bathroom on her own.

Sharing your thoughts and helping others through the gift of your writing will definitely bring us some sunshine today. Winston will have his walk!

... Anmaru

giggles said...

Shelley loved seeing this gorgeous family picture, just stunning young women your daughters! What a proud mama you must be! Sorry to hear about your mom, hope it’s just a temporary bug! The last time I was in that hospital my aunt was dying I bumped into you, your hubby had a burst appendix. It’s been a few years for sure! So often our plans get diverted by more pressing issues. I read this post yesterday but was unable to comment until today. The lovely change in the weather would have put pep in Winston’s step. Love his name by the way!

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