Gommie is on her way back to Texas this morning. It has been quite a two weeks, from her arrival just days after I got out of the hospital, through Easter and then spring break, and a lot of good and bad days in between.
Almost five years ago, when Gommie and Pop had stayed with us for several weeks after my initial back injury, I wrote a thank-you post about the gift they'd given me. In subsequent thank yous--for their help in April/May 2011 for my second back injury, in August/September 2012 for Mama's surgery and infection--I've referenced that post.
And I'll point to it again because it's true.
But I'll rephrase it.
Being a mom is tough. Watching your kids hurt is hard. Being helpless is so difficult. And my mom willingly waded into all of that when she came up here to help us post-surgery. I'm spoiled by her constant love and support because I never doubted she would come and help; but it has become clearer to me how many people don't have loved ones who will drop everything to help them. And I know how lucky I am. I felt that luck every time she packed a lunch, washed dishes, loaded the dishwasher, did laundry, took out the garbage, entertained the kids, tried to cheer me up or distract me, made a few meals, even fed the cats. She did everything and more that she could do so that Mama could go back to work and not have to do everything on her own, as she had been doing before Gommie arrived. And she did it all in a house that is more cluttered, smaller, and differently-organized that her own, with two grandkids underfoot who wanted her love and attention. And not even a room to call her own, sleeping on a bottom bunk with Sis on the floor next to her, all of us sharing a bathroom upstairs.
And with that all, she watched me grimace in discomfort, heard me make difficult phone calls about clots and insurance and prescriptions, knew that I was tired, in pain, totally grossed out and upset about my incision, and sometimes just grumpy because major emergency surgery sucks. Even last night, just hours before she was leaving, she woke up and saw our light on at 3 am and worried (I was wide awake and very uncomfortable, not pain, just awake and unsettled, and having a major emotional panic. It happens. I'm much better this morning.) She had her own discomfort, too, sometimes, in her knees and back. We laughed as we shuffled along together. 'Cos what else are you going to do?
But with all that going on, we still had lots of fun. There was Scrabble and Sushi Go and Camp games, doodling on tiles and shells, making bubble gum from a kit with Bud, playing American Girl doll salon with Sis, early morning cuddles, late night reading, trying Just Dance moves to "YMCA," Mario Kart hilarity, watching Battle of Five Armies, watching Neil Degrasse Tyson's "Cosmos," scrambled egg breakfasts, watching "Switched at Birth" and "Little House on the Prairie" with Sis, watching Grey Gardens, "Mr. Selfridge" and "Wolf Hall" and "Miss Fisher's Mysteries" with me, going to the rope obstacle course, going to the coastal bird refuge, going to the natural science museum, dyeing Easter eggs and celebrating Easter, building fairy houses, eating hibachi and then frozen yogurt, eating at the fish restaurant. And lots more that I'm forgetting this morning, I'm sure.
So, we send you home to Texas with our love and gratitude for these last two weeks and for being you, Gommie, my mom, who gave me yet another gift, or lesson, in generosity, determination, dedication. In love and motherhood.
Thanks, Mom. I love you.