I'm not that person who recognizes life lessons on a regular basis. It's fair to say I've been bitch slapped by a life lesson or two in my time yet moseyed on undeterred.
Not this week.
This week, I'm paying attention.
Spoon feeding a dying mother has a way of changing a person's perspective. As much as I hate clichés there are several that apply to me right now. I won't bore you with most of them.
But there's one...
It's the small things.
It's been a week of those. The minor and mundane that might go unremembered if not for their timing. While I struggle to come to terms with losing my mother, I'm soaking up the moments that feed my soul.
Camping out with two of my babies. Well, we're at the Marriott with room service but there was no valet so you can understand my confusion.
Adelia: "Mimi, can you get out my way? I have to go number three."
Me: "Can I have a kiss first?"
Madison, my oldest granddaughter and her mother tussled most of last evening. The usual mother daughter tug of war fueled by pre-teen angst. Madison couldn't wait to shake off the parental bonds and head to the hotel room, mother-free. Right before bed...
Madison: "Can I call my mom?"
Me: "Sure, how come?"
Madison: "To tell her I love her and good night."
At the hospital sitting by my mother's bedside:
Mom: "The last time I went to a party wearing lingerie there was that stripper."
Me, fingers in ears: "I can't hear you, I can't hear you."
Mom to my daughter Kayla: "You never were very funny."
Mom, not able to stand, pulling a copy of my book out of her purse for the doctor: "Have you read this? My daughter wrote it."
My husband's hand at the small of my back. Propping me up like he always has and always will.
Finding out my daughter has reserves of strength similar to Hercules and a heart to match.
Whose motto is: "My mom's crying. Someone's gonna pay."
My son-in-law Che sneaking in McDonalds at the hospital sitting next to Mom's bed sharing french fries with her and watching Family Feud, kissing her on the forehead before he left.
Kissing my one year old grandson a bunch of times even though he doesn't really like it. Breathing him in.
My son Daniel calling every day this week to check up on Grandma and see if I'm okay.
So, when I look back on this terrible time, I'll have the sweet as well as the bitter.
In the midst of all the painful, unpleasant business of dying, we are banding together. A family. Still living.