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Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimers’

This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

Mother and daughter lay on the hospital bed, Joy weeping, while Amara whispered soft encouragements while holding protectively to Joy’s head.

Amara could remember vividly the last time that she and Joy were in each others arms. It was a time when Joy needed her mother so very much, and Amara had nothing left to give. Amara had carried the guilt of that failure with her all these years. It made her so aware that one moment of weakness on her part could change the course of her relationship with her daughter.

As Amara held her daughter an odd realization occurred to her, that she was not holding her young daughter, but an adult woman. This adult woman was laying on her bed, right beside her, and in her arms.

Amara screamed loudly, piercingly, but wordlessly, as her sounds slurred together.

The woman bolted upright in seconds, “Mom, mom, are you in pain? What is wrong?”

Amara screamed again, and again, and again, until someone looking like a medical personal came running in.

“Mrs. Jackson, step aside please,” the nurse said to Joy.

Joy stepped aside as the nurse asked her mother a handful of questions. Every answer was a mumbled mess of sounds. It became apparent to Joy that the recent news that her mother had had a stroke was probably true. It was painful to stand there and hear her mother unable to communicate clearly.

The nurse was able to get Amara settled down, and more relaxed, after having Joy wait outside the room. Joy was pacing, without knowing it, in the hallway, when the doctor, that the nurse had called in, came out of Amara’s room.

“Doctor, how is she? Did she have a stroke? Why was she so upset with my being there? Will she be able to speak again? Can she walk?” The questions in Joy’s head were pouring out all at once.

The doctor, a man in his late fifties, with kind eyes and a relaxed demeanor, waited patiently until Joy’s list of questions had all been aired. Then he said, “Mrs. Jackson, lets sit and chat.”

Once they sat, he spoke, “Mrs. Jackson, I am Dr. Lewis, I work in the same office as Dr. Faw. It does appear that your mother has had a stroke. I am not yet sure of the severity of it, or how long lasting her speech problem will be. We will be doing more testing today. There is more … are you okay to take all of this in with no one else here with you?” Dr. Lewis asked with sincere concern for Joy.

Joy wanted to respond what was on heart, that she had no one, no one, in her life to lean on anymore. Just thinking it caused a tear to slip down her face. She took a deep, lung cleansing breath, wiped the dampness from her cheek, then looked Dr. Lewis in the face and said, with forced confidence, “you can tell me.”

“Mrs. Jackson, your mother would also seem to have pneumonia, probably from her unplanned hiking expedition the other night. This will be her biggest battle,” he looked straight at Joy, “Mrs. Jackson, your mother may not be going home again.”

The words settled on Joy’s ears, but were felt throughout her entire being. In just a short period of time, her mother had gone from a strong and independent woman, in great shape for seventy-two, to a woman who would not be leaving the hospital. Joy’s head began to swirl with the weight of the doctor’s words.

She felt a hand on her shoulder, “Mrs. Jackson, you can ask me anything. There is no rush. This is a lot of information to take in all at once.”

“Dr. Lewis,” Joy was forcing herself to stay alert, “why did my mother respond as though she did not want me in her room?” Really that was the only question Joy had on her heart. The feelings of rejection were greater than any she had ever known … or maybe it was reminiscent of her childhood time when her mother could no longer be available to her?

“The Alzheimers would be the reason for that, would be my best guess. Perhaps, when she awoke, she was not able to recognize you, as her daughter, and it scared her. That would not be uncommon in someone with that disease. To be honest, it is nearly impossible to understand exactly all that one with Alzheimers thinks, so that is just my best guess.” Dr. Lewis smiled an understanding smile.

“What …” Joy’s voice trailed off, feeling heavy with the weight that today had laid upon her shoulders. “What do we do next?” Joy was asking, not just Dr. Lewis, and not just about her mother. Joy was asking herself, and about almost every part of her life.

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 17

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This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

As Amara stirred, Joy rushed to her side.

“Joy … ,” Amara was struggling to talk.

“Yes mother?” Joy felt tears coming to her eyes. Was it her mother’s voice, or what she had just read on Joe’s phone?

“Joy … ”

“Mother, I am here”

“Don’t cry Joy, please … don’t cry.”

Joy was startled by her mothers words, because she had not realized that her face was wet with falling tears. Amara’s eyes were not even open, how did she know that Joy was crying?

“Mother, I am here. Oh mom, I need you right now,” Joy sobbed, and lay onto her mother’s bed with her.

Amara reached her hand towards Joy’s head, and held on to the crown of her head, like she used to do when Joy was a young child, and needed comfort.

It was not a familiar thing for Amara to be offering comfort to Joy. Oh, when she was a little girl, and had all the scrapes and bruises of childhood. But as a teen and an adult, Joy did not need comfort from anyone.

Amara could remember vividly the last time that she and Joy were in each others arms. It was a time when Joy needed her mother so very much, and Amara had nothing left to give. Amara had carried the guilt of that failure with her all these years. It made her so aware that one moment of weakness on her part could change the course of her relationship with her daughter.

Jacob had been ill for so long. If Amara wasn’t with Jacob, it was only because the hospital staff had sent her home to sleep in her own bed for a night. It had been a two year existence of doctor appointments, prescriptions, hospitals and tests. It had been almost two years of her husband, John, working two jobs to pay for all of the medical bills. It had been over a year of Joy living more with her grandparents than with her parents.

Amara had missed Joy so much, but there just was no other choice, and she was so thankful for her parents for giving Joy all that she needed, during those years when Amara’s attention was almost exclusively devoted to Jacob.

In the beginning, when Jacob was first undergoing tests, Amara had to deal with so much guilt. She had been so excited when Joy arrived, that she really only had eyes for her. Jacob had gotten pushed to the side, in Amara’s delight over her new baby girl. But Jacob did not seem to mind. He was just starting grade one when Joy was born, and he had new adventures in his days, that did not include his mother anyway.

Jacob had been such a pleasant, easy going little boy, and his pride in his baby sister was almost as intense as his mother’s. He would sit by her bassinet and just watch her sleep, or sing to her as she bounced in her Jolly Jumper. He was as enamored with her as Amara.

Then he got sick, very sick. And the doctor’s didn’t know what was wrong. By the time they diagnosed nine year old Jacob, with Leukemia it had gone too far. Oh, they tried everything they could think of, from treatments, to surgeries, to medications. It was just all too late.

There had been so much loss, in such a short time. Only a month after Jacob’s funeral, Amara’s father, the strongest man she could imagine, had a major heart attack, and died as well. Amara was not sure she could keep going. She felt pulled between the grief of her son’s illness and death, the shocking loss of her father, and the need to help her mother, as she dealt with her own grief.

Amara was barely surviving, and her care of little Joy became mechanical, impersonal. Joy was not quite five, and she too had experienced immense loss. She lost her big brother, her grandfather who had doted on her as though she was royalty, and now her Gamma, who she loved like a mother, was in such a deep place of grieving. In the midst of all of that loss, was the reality that she had also lost her mother in the process.

Then, only a few months later Amara’s mother died too. The doctors had said it was a massive stroke that took her life, immediately, but Amara knew that it was a lonely and broken heart, that simply refused to keep beating with the love of her life gone.

Amara was at her weakest, most vulnerable point in her life. She survived, physically, but life was snuffed out of her soul.

In just a few months Joy went from being in the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ (Disneyworld), with her dear grandparents, to living in a dark, cave-like place and existence, with a mother who was unable to care for herself, let alone a five year old girl. She became the caregiver of her mother. The roles of mother and daughter flipped, and little Joy lost her understanding of childhood, as she began to mother her mother.

There was little that Amara remembered about that time in her life. One event stood out, as a great regret. Amara was sitting in the front row of the church, as the funeral service for her mother progressed. It had been an open casket funeral, as had been common at that time. When the time came for the casket to be closed, Joy jumped up onto her mother’s lap, threw her arms around her mother’s neck, and sobbed onto her mother’s shoulder. Joy had not sought out affection from her mother for months, while Jacob was ill, and she had the doting affections of her grandparents. But when the cover came down on the body of her grandmother, it was as though Joy was aware that the door on that phase of her young life was also closing.

As Joy sobbed and held on to her mother’s neck, Amara could not muster any affection for her daughter. She found breathing to be a laborious event, in itself. Amara had nothing left to give to her child.

Eventually Joy was pried from her mother, by her father’s eager arms. He held her, and comforted her.

And Joy never sought comfort from her mother again.

Amara always wished she could have found the strength to say, “don’t cry Joy, please … don’t cry.”

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 16

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This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

With Joe gone, Joy was left alone with her mother. As she stood at her mother’s bedside, she felt awkward, and unsure of what to do with herself.

She mother seemed to be sleeping, without a line of a frown on her forehead, she was perfectly relaxed and peaceful. Somehow, in the past few days her mother’s appearance seemed to have aged significantly.

Then, Amara moaned. Joy sprung into a state of alert, waiting and looking for signs of more. There were no more.

Joy sat on the side of the bed, observing her mother in a way she had never before. Noticing her mother’s round face, and perfectly shaped eyebrows. Joy could not imagine her mother owning eyebrow tweezers, let alone using them. Well she might have tweezers, but probably to pull out splinters. Her mother was more likely to be weeding a garden or building a fence … anything outdoors, over beauty treatments.

That was Amara, an outdoors loving woman. Not that she was not a good housekeeper, her house was ordered and mostly clean. Joy’s house was immaculate! Not a thing was ever out of place, and her floors were spotless! A meal on her floors would be more germ free than one on the table in most homes. This is where the two women, with similar genes throughout their bodies, were different. Amara would go for a fast paced walk, for her exercise, whereas Joy would don the most fashionable exercise wear, and head to the nicest gym in town. Amara could pull a meal together in minutes, with only the ingredients in her refrigerator. Joy planned a week in advance, her meals, and her grocery list, to include only the ingredients she would need to fulfill the intended food plan for the week.

As Joy studied her mother’s face, she started seeing something she had never noticed before. How very beautiful her mother was, Joy was always aware of. Her mother’s beauty was not the beauty of the model on the catwalk, or of the cultured woman coming from the beauty salon, it was the beauty that was there from birth, and would be there whether she wore make up, or not, until her last breath. Her’s was the beauty that women pay money for. The beauty that comes from good genes, good food, and lots of laughing.

“Mother, you are so beautiful?” Joy asked her sleeping mother, “have I ever told you that?”

Then, as she was looking to her mother, half expecting a verbal response, she recognized something familiar in her mother’s face. Not familiar because it was her mother’s, but because there was a feeling a deja vu that she could not understand, or know fully. “What is it that I am seeing in your face, mo…..”

A phone was ringing. No, not a phone ringing, but a cell phone vibration noise. “Where is my phone?” Joy glanced around the room for her purse. She walked to the window, where she had left her purse on the ledge under the window, but above the heater. As she searched through her purse, she continued to hear the sound of the vibration, but did not feel it in her purse. When she located her phone, she turned it on to discover that there was no call or text coming on her cell, but the noise was continuing.

She lifted her head to scan the room for the origin of the sound, and walked towards the sofa, where the sound was coming from. She saw nothing on the sofa, so she moved one of the cushion, and there was a cell phone, Joe’s cell phone. It must have fallen from his pocket earlier when they were sitting there.

The vibration had stopped, but there was a message on the screen, “call me, I NEED to talk with you about a ‘business trip’ I am proposing. You owe me big time for leaving just when we were so close 😉 .” The name attached to the text was Roxanne.

Joy did not know of a Roxanne, from his work … but there were many people in the company.

The text seemed so personal … but the text was just about a business trip.

She included a wink? … but workplace joking is not unusual.

So close to what? … maybe it was a business deal.

“Joe had just said, “I promise to be here for you.”

It did not matter how much convincing Joy tried to do, her imagination was taking this text into possibilities that made her heart drop to the floor. Was this new leaf that she and Joe seemed to be turning over a farce?

“Oh why had I allowed myself to be vulnerable to him?”

As Joy’s words echoed in the hospital room, Amara began to stir, in her bed.

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 15

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This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

“Hello?” Joe whispered into the phone receiver, not awake enough to really be talking yet.

Joy stirred, laying close to Joe, feeling warm, protected, and cared for.

“When did this happen?”

Joy was awakening more quickly now, as she heard the urgency in Joe’s voice. She glanced at the bedside clock, noting it was only six minutes after five in the morning.

Joe put the phone on the bed table, “your mother is not doing well. They said she may have had a stroke. We need to get to the hospital, as soon as possible.” He eyed Joy, looking for signs that she fully understood the words he had just said.

Joy took a deep breath, “okay. The girls are at Susan’s, and we can call them later. Will you come with me?”

She wants me to be with her … she needs me. Joe nodded a yes to Joy, and a great smile covered her face. She then turned and started to move at lightening speed, dressing and readying herself to head to the hospital.

In less than fifteen minutes, the two of them were locking up the house and climbing into Joe’s old Honda Civic that he had been driving since university. Normally a suggestion that they take his car would be squashed by Joy, immediately, due to it’s “gas guzzling” and “appearance of a vehicle that had been abandoned in a field, permanently.”

As soon as they arrived on the floor where Amara had been, one of the nurses, who had been with Joy the early morning when Amara was first brought in, walked directly to them.

“Joy, we are doing tests on her right now, and she will be brought back to her room very soon. As soon as she is back in her room, I will page her doctor, and have him inform you of her progress. Come in to her room, and I can let you know exactly what has been happening.”

The kind nurse ushered Joy and Joe into the room, and they sat on the small sofa in the room, while the nurse recounted all of the events leading up to the point when Amara was taken for a test to see if the problem was atherosclerosis or a brain aneurysm. It sounded like a dreadful test to Joy, who was assured that her mother was sedated while having it.

Once the nurse left the two alone, Joy fell into her hands, into a long and deep sob. She could feel Joe encapsulate her into his arms, and she felt no shame, no weakness for losing control so fully. Joy could not remember crying like this … ever in her life. At no other time in her life did she feel able to be so out of control with another person. Not her mother, or her father, or even her dearly loved grandparents, and definitely not Joe. Something had changed, within her? Within Joe? She did not know, but something had changed that allowed her the freedom to be so vulnerable.

Joe had no idea how long he had been holding Joy, as her body was consumed with sobbing. All he knew was that, for the first time in many years, the woman that he was holding needed him, and needed him terribly. Somehow, her needing him, caused his need of her to grow as well, and his recognition of his own responsibility for how their marriage had deteriorated.

All this time, while he would email and text and talk on the telephone with Roxanne he had been telling himself that the problems were the fault of Joy. He had been rationalizing that the time he was spending with Roxanne was related to work, and, even if it was more, that was because Joy had been cold to him, in every way. He had constantly said to himself, “she can’t expect me to live like this forever. At some point she will push me into another woman’s arms.” But now, holding the woman he truly loved, he realized that he was not pushed into Roxanne’s arms, he RAN into them.

As Amara was being wheeled back into the room, Joy’s phone started to ring. She looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Susan’s number. “Joe, can you take this call for me? It is Susan, and she is probably wondering when to bring the girls back home.”

Joe nodded and headed to the hallway to answer the call.

“How is she?” Joy asked the men lifting her mother to her bed. Amara’s body was limp, her face so pale. The only sign of life was a grimace as she was being lifted, followed by a moan.

“Sorry ma’am, we are just delivering her to her room. I am sure someone will come and speak with you,” one of the orderlies said, as the two were walking from the room.

Joy walked slowly towards her resting mother. It had already been days since they had spoken to each other, and Joy wondered if that might have been her last words to … and from her mother. Oh, what did we talk about? Joy was frustrated that she could not remember. Then it came to her that their last conversation had been on the phone, about Joy and her daughters going to her mother’s house to spend the night.

Just then Joe walked in the room.

“Hey Joy, is she okay?” He asked, as his eyes darted from Amara to Joy.

“I don’t know yet. I guess it was just orderlies who brought her back. They said someone would come to let me know.” Joy looked so sad, so tired.

“Robin is ill, so Susan thought it might be best if our girls don’t stay there, so that they do not get sick too. Will you be okay if I go to pick them up, and then I’ll bring the girls here?”

“Sure,” Joy responded more a reaction than a response.

“I promise, I will not be gone long at all,” Joe finished saying as he stood in front of Joy, where she literally fell into his arms.

“I am so sorry that I have not been here for you, for far too long.” Joe said, with deep regrets in his heart. “I promise to be here for you. You do not have to walk through this alone, I am here for you.”

Joe had not been more transparent or sincere at any other time in his life. He was beginning to feel as though he had a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a second start in his marriage with Joy, And he was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen, and to prove to Joy that he was committed to a better marriage.

“I will be right back.” He said as he pulled back from Joy, kissed her forehead, smiled and walked through the door.

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 14

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This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

As Joy stood back up from kissing her sleeping mother on the forehead, she felt a hand on her back.

“I left as soon as I got your text,” came Joe’s voice before Joy had managed to turn around. He awkwardly pulled her into his arms and held her tightly, as she tried to piece together this rare expression of affection, her own arms dangling at her sides.

“Well this is odd. What is up?” Joy’s thoughts became audible words before she had a chance to edit them. Joe’s body stiffened in response.

Oh Joy, I so wanted to come home and be wanted, be needed by you.

“How is your mother doing? What happened? The last I heard was from your email saying that you and the girls were going to spend the night at her house” Joe tried to hide his hurt.

“Well, that was the plan. But when we got there …” Joy’s voice trailed off, as she glanced at her mother, sleeping peacefully in the hospital bed, as if to remind herself that the nightmare of her being missing was truly over. “… when we got there, she was gone. We looked everywhere imaginable, I called the police. Then I remembered the clearing and they found her there. She was rushed to the hospital, and has been here ever since.” Just saying the words, for the first time since it all had occurred, made the weight of all she had been through lay firmly on Joy’s shoulders. Suddenly, she was overcome with fatigue.

“Joy? Joy?” Joy could hear Joe’s voice, but it was drifting so far away. The next thing she remembered, she was lying on the small sofa bed in her mother’s room, with the face of a nurse too close to her own face. “Mrs. Jackson? You are in the hospital. Your husband is right here.”

“What … what happened?” Joy was coming to, but not sure what had occurred.

“It looks like you fainted, Mrs. Jackson. Have you had anything to eat or drink today?”

Joy struggled to remember what day it was, let alone what she had eaten. “I really do not remember,” she answered honestly.

“Mr. Jackson, could you please get a glass of water for your wife?”

Joe nodded, and moved towards the plastic jug of water on Amara’s bed table, filling the plastic glass, and returning it to the nurse.

Just then the door swung opened, and in walked a physician. “So what have we here?”

An hour later, Joy was already curled up, in bed. A cup of tea on her bed table, and Joe beside her.

“I can’t do this alone, Joe. I need your help,” Joy said, looking straight ahead.

Joe had never heard such vulnerability in Joy’s voice. She was the original Miss. Independent. Joy needed no one, ever, least of all him. Maybe her fainting in the hospital had something to do with it. He felt such fear and concern as she lay on that sofa bed in her mother’s hospital room. All of a sudden what was most important to Joe was more clear than at any other time in his life. He loved Joy, and he wanted nothing more than to be loved back by her. Joe was determined to do whatever it took to earn her love back.

Joe stared into Joy’s eyes, “Joy, I am here. You have me at your side, and I am not leaving … ever. I am so sorry for not being here for you in the past, I promise to do better.”

Tears fell from Joy’s eyes, and fell into Joe’s arms.

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 13

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This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

A noise from Joe’s cell phone on the table, plucked Joe from the moment. “My phone, not now,” Joe thought as his lips touched Roxanne’s for the first time. A kiss that he had been anticipating for months.

The first time they had met was at an annual general meeting for their employer, in Boston. She had held the elevator door for him as he was running for it, hoping to get on, so that he would not be terribly late for a session he was leading. Then they ran into each other again later in the week, at a coffee shop where they remembered meeting in the elevator, and shared a table and the fastest hour of Joe’s life. After that, the emails back and forth … just to keep in touch. Then she and her husband separated, and the emails became more personal, Joe taking the part of confidant and encourager. With more and more often there being talk of when they would see each other again.

Joy never seemed to need him anymore. They were living two very separate lives, under one roof. She with her running around doing things for their daughters, or her mother, and he working. Living with Joy had become more of a sibling relationship than a married couple one. He sometimes wondered if it would just be better for their daughters if they too were to separate, like Roxanne and her husband.

Recently, Joe was able to convince his superior (and himself) that he needed to personally check on the running of the office in Vancouver. The office which Roxanne was responsible for. So they were able to spend his two days there together, without raising an eyebrow. Of course neither one of them admitted to their self that they both had intentions that were anything but platonic. After arriving the day before, when Roxanne picked him up at the airport. The only time they had spent apart was during the night. Now, only about twenty-four hours after Joe touched down in the city, they were kissing, passionately, in his hotel room, admitting the desire they both had been feeling for the other.

This expression of passion felt so good to Joe. It was something that he and Joy had not shared in a very, very long time. And he could tell that Roxanne was fully responsive to him.

Again the noise from his cell phone, another text was coming in.

“I really do need to check this.” Joe said, with great regret. He walked away from Roxanne, who was standing by the door in his hotel room, to the table where his phone was lying. When he picked it up, he saw two messages, both from Joy, his wife, “love you” and the second, “Mom is in the hospital. It’s been an ordeal. Text me when you have a moment.” His heart felt like it was stopped. He kept reading those two words, over and over. “Love you” was not something that Joy had said to Joe is so long, it was something Joe had not said to Joy in as long. It was something he almost said earlier to Roxanne.

“Are you going to leave me here at your room doorway, or do you want to invite me in to stay?” Roxanne said, purring.

Joe read the two words again, and a feeling of dread, a feeling of regret gripped his being. He had made such a big mistake, and he had been moving towards an even bigger one. What would Joy think? What did he do? What would the girls …”

“Hello … Joe, you do remember that I am still here?” Roxanne asked cheekily.

“Uh, Roxanne, I need to go home, it’s an emergency,” Joe stood, grabbed his carry on bag and started filling it with the contents of a dresser drawer. He did not face or even glance up at Roxanne, who was standing there, but just moved around the room, filling his bag.

“Do you want me to drive you to the airport?” Roxanne asked, with great pleading in her voice.

“No, I will take a taxi.” Joe replied, still not making eye contact with her.

Roxanne turned, and walked through the door, shoulders hanging.

She did not even ask what the emergency was. Joe pondered, as he packed up his laptop.

He grabbed his bags, checked out of the hotel, and hailed a taxi to go to the airport. Joe was heading home … needed, and … loved.

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 12

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This is another post in a series, about a woman named Amara. Every Friday I will post another segment in this story.

What a day it had been already for Joy.

Her mother had been missing, and then found, in the wooded area near her home. She had been taken to the hospital nearby, to be checked out. Now, at only nine thirty in the morning, she had given countless vials of blood to be checked, and had undergone three medical tests, and was resting comfortably in the hospital bed.

“Mrs. Jackson, your mother has been given a sedative for the last test. She will probably sleep for a number of hours. You should go home, and get some sleep yourself,” the doctor on call said to Joy, with great sensitivity, and great concern. “Your mother will be well taken care of here. You need to care for yourself, so that you can come back refreshed, when your mother awakens later this afternoon.”

Joy started to shake her head, and was about to say no, when the nurse interrupted and said, “I will call you, myself, if there is any change, or if your mother seems to be awakening. Go home, Mrs. Jackson.” Joy looked at the nurse, then back to the doctor, to see that they were both nodding in agreement. She knew that to argue would be pointless, and she probably could go home for a bit.

“Besides,” the nurse continued while pointing to towards the corner of the room, “your daughters need to get some rest too.”

Joy’s head swung around to where the nurse had pointed. She had been so consumed with concern for her mother that she had totally forgotten that her two daughters were lying on a small sofa in her mother’s hospital room. They looked so beautiful, so worry free snuggled up together on the sofa. Joy could feel the corners of her lips curl up into a smile of pride.

“Mrs. Jackson?” The voice of the nurse moved her attention away from the girls.

“Yes,” Joy said with the smile still on her face, “yes, I will go home for a rest.”

Once back home, and the girls were in bed. Joy got herself ready for bed, but, with the adrenaline rush from driving back home, and getting her daughters settled in bed, she was not feeling ready to rest. She wandered out to the kitchen to heat her kettle and make a cup of tea. As she reached for her cup and saucer, she realized that, in all of the chaos of the past twelve hours she had not contacted Joe to tell him what had been going on.

She glanced at her watch, almost noon here means it is … almost four in the afternoon on the west coast. I can send him a text, and he can call me when he has a break later.

Joy went to her purse to retrieve her phone. “Oh dear, it’s almost out of battery.” She quickly touched the screen to create her text to send to him. “Mom is in the hospital. It’s been an ordeal. Text me when you have a moment.” Joy pushed send. Then she stopped, and re-read the words she had written. They were certainly not much more than sharing of information. No polite introduction. No questions about his day. No ‘I love you’ to sign off. Where did the feelings of affection for each other go? Maybe it was time that she lay down the olive leaf … Without another thought, Joy touched “love you” onto the phone screen, and then, as her finger touched the ‘send’ button, the phone powered off. Her good intentions lost, as technology defeated her well-meaning action.

Joy breathed a deep sign. She felt that even technology didn’t want her to be the slightest bit vulnerable.

“Well, I guess I will just get my tea and head to bed. Maybe I will be better able to handle Joe’s lifeless conversation after a few hours sleep.” Joy spoke her thoughts out loud to no one. Then she did as she said, taking her cup and saucer to her bedroom. Crawled into the sheets, warmed by the noon day sun shining onto her bed, and fell fast asleep.

Unfading – Part 1

Unfading – Part 11

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Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce