Relevance: having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand [Merriam-Webster definition]
I’m not sure why this came to me as I drove home from another visit with Mom. Relevant care. It bears an immediacy, tugs at my heart. What is relevant about this, other than the fact that it’s happening now and continues to happen, whether I’m there with her, or waiting at home.
We’ve had a crisis in our family, as Mom’s health spirals in and out of decline. Life takes her down. I watch her fight her way back, time and time again. Will she make it this time? Only God knows.
The hospital has moved her into a rehab center. I sign in to see her. They have her under her legal name, Betty, instead of Chris, her long-time nickname. It’s my name, too. I swallow the lump in my throat as I write it on the form.
I find her in a room down a long hall.
Now, fear joins in the battle. Her fear. Anxiety fills her and permeates the air around her. Will this latest health issue keep her anchored in the rehab center, the nursing home? Rather than nestled in her own home, where she longs to be. The anxiety weighs her down more than the issues that threaten her life.
If I could, I would bear it for her, bag it up, take it home with me and keep it far from her, out of harm’s way. Give her a lighter burden to bear and a better chance at recovery.
Prayers help. Visits help, even when we only sit in silence, together. She talks too much, bringing on another coughing jag.
I wait, holding her hand.
She apologizes for the fortieth time, for complaining so much. She confesses her fears, not with words, but through her actions. The “tell” is a look in her eyes, like that of a hunted animal.
I wait. Then I let her know she’s not bothering me. I’m just happy to be here with her.
Will this be the time? Will I leave and never see her again? Fears dance in my mind, too. Life can be unpredictable at times.
Hope rallies. Sometimes, I return and find her better. We go out and have a bit of fun, all she can bear in her feeble state.
Her resilience continues to amaze me, as she faces each new crisis of health. She finds a way to get through it.
“This is my life now,” she tells me. “I just need to figure out how to live here, too.” Then yesterday, she added, “But I want you to know, I’m ready to go.”
So what is “relevant care” for me right now? Taking care of the needs of my family. Answering the call to hold a hand and be present in the moment. This means I may not always have a post here on Thursday morning, but I know my readers will understand. This is my life now, and I just need to figure out how to live here.
Make no mistake, I am so very, very thankful because I have been so blessed. That’s what makes this moment of my life so precious. I realize how quickly it passes and how fast those precious moments in the now become precious memories.