Someone, somewhere, appointed
me a nurse in this family. If there was a degree other than a Mrs. it might
have helped. There are bee stings, sore throats, ear infections, sprains,
throwing up stomach aches, broken bones, toothaches, broken hearts, broken
marriages, nosebleeds, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, asthma, hay
fever, eczema, sinuses, a year of screaming nightmares from a terrible
trauma, severe lacerations on a hand to cause microsurgery for ligaments,
car accidents and those are the things I can remember.
We have been told adversity
makes us stronger. Let me tell you something different. It definitely does
not make you stronger. Unless the experience with asthma lets you know when
a child begins to fight for breath one knows what the outcome can be. Having
seen Gramma Bell fight for her last breath didn't make me any stronger, just
more aware. Weak knees and fear are not strength, not as I last understood
it to be.
We fought through the time
with Dad when hemorrhage wasn't any easier to accept no matter how many
times we went through it. No, we are certainly not stronger, maybe more
plodding, but not strong.
Now as we care for our aging
Mother as the doctor teaches us to do, once again we begin to twirl like an
old windmills that has been cranked up, pushed faster and faster by swift,
even swifter winds. If there is any strength at all it like the Native
American story of the boy who goes to live with the spider when his mother
dies. The moral of that story being, “there will always be someone or
something there for you when you need them.”
Suddenly we back track into
what we know will carry us through the times. There must be an attention to
the people around us; be they strangers or acquaintances. While we sit in
the car waiting we enjoy our people watch time which is a pleasant
diversion. The way they walk, hustling along, shuffling by, trudging
through, or dancing along as if they are in an Irish folk dance. They all
are a distraction to us.
“There's Linda! Mom.”
Rhonda speaks up.
“I'm going to yell at her!”
I announce to those in the car.
“Linda! Linda!” I call to
For a moment this woman who
is now aging but still very beautiful doesn't recognize us. How long has it
been since we've seen her? Her face lights up as she calls back, “Rhonda! Hi
Rhonda! How are you?” She waves a broad and friendly wave.
“Who is that?” Mother asks.
“I don't know. I really
don't. We have just known her as Linda for all these years. She used to work
at the old Gibson store. Always considerate of Rhonda she was. That was
twenty-five years ago.”
For today we found that
someone who was there for us.