Waiting

 

Mothers wait.
We wait for the child to be born.
We wait for the first words, the first steps.
We wait for the first day of school
We wait for the first date, the first relationship.
We wait for the return home from his first time taking the car.
We wait to hear about love, about a job, about school…
We wait for so many things, for so many reasons.

We should never have to wait for our child’s death.

Today I have spent what will be my last Christmas with my oldest child. I have watched as he struggled in the bathroom, needing my help to brush his teeth. I have put his slippers on his dear feet, swollen with edema. And I have held back tears as he looked at me with love and said, “You do so much for me.”

I ached at his confusion over the weighted blanket his nephew got for Christmas. When I explained that it would be a weight on him, which he hates, he insisted that it would somehow elevate him, relieving the pressure of the mattress on the bed where he spends most of his time.

It was a blessed relief to laugh with him when he unwrapped the socks from his brother, when his niece asked what they said, and he boldly proclaimed, “Fuck this shit!” When his humor shines through – as it does from time to time – it heals my heart a little bit.

I wait and worry and weep and wait some more.
I am not ready.
I’ll never be ready.
Dear Lord, help me be ready.