Her mind is as strong and clear as her body is weak and frail. The nurses try their best to find a vein that works, one that will allow the fluids she needs for the surgery. Her silent scream is painful as they stab her again and again looking for a vein that will take the needle. They call in the top nurse after three nurses fail, and Jen resorts to using a needle they use on babies,
“at this age and with her condition, she’s more like a baby,” nurse Jen explains.
We are all grateful that she has managed to lodge the baby needle in my mom’s tiny veins.
She is indeed like a baby. No longer able to say any words, no longer able to walk. We cut her food in tiny bite size pieces and carefully place them in her mouth that is no longer home to a full set of teeth.
She loves to listen to her musical teddy bear that plays songs when she squeezes his hand and to listen to me read her short stories. She’s older than baby Odin who is now 6 months old, but seems to enjoy the same activities. Odin has surpassed her in his physical abilities. He can scoot along the floor and reach for toys he wants to teethe. He can put a spoon in his mouth and suck off the guacamole. He takes strips of sweet potato and scrapes the soft insides away from the skin and smiles with glee. He can make sounds with his vocal cords that imitate sounds he hears, and giggles when he hears someone fart.
I imagine my mom used to sit and watch me sleep when I was just a baby, the way I sit now listening to her quiet breath. Thankfully, her surgery went well. The doctor was able to clear most of the calcification from the walls of her arteries. They were 95% calcified. He basically had to perform a rotorooter balloon procedure to remove the plaque that had built up and was preventing her from receiving blood to her leg and was the cause of her severe cramps. It’s no wonder she’s been in so much pain.
Both Odin and my mom share the ability to bring joy to your day, and a smile to your face simply by being. It feels as if the twinkle in their eyes and the look of gratitude and excitement for the tiniest things is all I need to exist.
And when the old and the young look at you and speak through their hearts, you feel so incredibly loved. And that is enough.