The other day I watched as they took you back to surgery. I waited a couple of hours wondering how you were doing. I received the news that surgery had gone well and I waited some more while you were in recovery. I sat by your bedside after you were settled into your room and held your hand. Later, when the medication was making you sick, I held the plastic tub for you while you puked, and I held a washcloth to your head and tried to soothe your discomfort away. I helped you through the night by getting you on and off the bed pan and changing the pads on the bed.
It all made me think back over my life, how you were there to wait for me while I had surgeries: eye surgery, two tonsilectomies, labor & delivery, and three c-sections. I remember how you held my hair out of my face while I puked when I was sick. I remember how you soothed me in my discomfort. I don't remember, but I know you changed many a cloth diaper on my bottom. I remember how you were available for me night or day. How you fixed Chicken noodle soup when I had a cold or brought 7-up and "Gator-gum" when I had the stomach flu.
And as I lay in the room while you finally slept that night, I cried. I hoped that I could give back to you even a fraction of the love that you have shown me in my lifetime. It was hard to watch you in pain and sick because I love you. But it was really a blessing to be able to care for you in that time, because I love you.
I know that you are a very independent woman, that's how you raised me to be. I know that this is very hard for you to go through. It's hard to depend on others. It's hard to feel so weak and immobile. It's hard to let your daughter give you a shower. But I want you to know that it is a joy for me. I want to help you. I want to give back to you. I want to show you that you taught me love selflessly, to comfort the hurting, to have compassion for the weak and give of myself.
You are a strong woman. I know you will get through this. And I will appreciate every moment we have together because you're here and we can be together!
And, Mom, just in case I forgot to say it, I love you.