I am writing this post in a hurry. You see, my Mom called me on Wednesday morning saying she didn’t feel right – she was dizzy and her arms felt weak. I immediately asked her the stroke questions: What’s your name? Can you lift both arms above your head? Can you smile?
“Yes.” was her answer for which I was relieved.
But the way she was talking – her words sounded thick – it caused me enough concern to have her call 9-1-1. I said, “I’ll be there right away.”
Thankfully, I live only 10 minutes away, and my brother and sister-in-law live only blocks away. When I hung up I called my brother and then, Tom.
As soon as I heard Tom’s voice, I broke. His is the voice that comforts my fears and understands my emotions more than anyone. I explained to him what had happened while I was frantically throwing my clothes on and looking for my car keys.
“What if she’s had a stroke?” was the thought repeating over and over in my mind.
Tom said he was on his way, but to be careful driving. “Take your time, and I’m praying for you.”
My Mom will be 90 in March. She is an amazing woman and very attuned to life. She still lives alone, drives short distances and cares for her health and personal finances. I have always received such love and support from her. We all have – I have one brother and one sister – and her prayers alone for us could fill a football stadium.
All these thoughts were crowding my mind as I was driving to her house. When I got there, thankfully, the paramedics were already on the scene. There’s something frightening about seeing an emergency vehicle with lights flashing in front of your parent’s home. I ran inside to find Sherry, my sister-in-law; Amy, my niece and her two sweet, little girls in the room with my mom.
Relief settled on me knowing I wasn’t alone. I had family to walk through these types of challenges with me. What a blessing. What a gift. My brother would have been there too, but he was at work which is 45 minutes away. I kept him informed on the phone. My sister lives 2 hours away and works as an RN. She is a great support in medical emergencies. Yes, our family knows how to work together in such times.
But I wasn’t ready for this time.
My dad passed away in January of 2004 after only 8 weeks of battling brain cancer. It was a whirlwind of a tragedy, but God held us up as only He could through this valley of the shadow of death. I prayed silently that this wasn’t the beginning of another walk through this valley.
Today, I can tell you my mom is doing well. She is still in the hospital doing tests for TIA (small strokes). Thankfully, all her tests for a major stroke came back negative. They will treat her as needed, but by noon yesterday she was feeling normal again.
When the nurse asked her questions about her health like, “Do you wear hearing aids?” and she answered, “no,” I am reminded of how blessed we have been. She still offers advice, she still prays for us daily, she still is here to listen and share with us stories of her past. She is still here to work on our family genealogy on the computer. She is still here!
She is an amazing woman. And I am grateful to God that the phone call I received from her wasn’t the beginning of the end. And I find it quite ironic that this is my second post about such phone calls this week.
(NOTE: My mom was released from the hospital late last night, and she is home doing fine. Thank you God!)
What phone calls have you received this week? Do you take for granted the voice of your loved one on the other end? Don’t. Their voice is a priceless gift that would be greatly missed if they were suddenly gone.
Listen more closely and love more deeply.
This is post #21 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in October.