Sleight of Hand and the Silver Lining

This past weekend I had the pleasure of accompanying mom to a bridal tea for her great nephew’s fiancé. I suspect her military training plays a role, in addition to her concern for others, for mom’s as yet tremendous ability to rise to a sense of occasion. I admire this tendency tremendously. I watch her rally time and again, with relatives and friends by phone, with nurses, and for events large or small. I know this will not always continue to be so, but now it is in part the glue that binds us.
Is it possible that she has in large part, seeded my own tenacious attachment to the quest for ever-deepening resiliency? Perhaps the fact, that such an infant as I was to be, was delivered into the hands of one so stout-hearted soul was not the happenstance, as with great arrogance, I originally suspected.
All too quickly, we have come to face the next doorway together. At moments, there is a palpable air of urgency, expectancy, hesitancy, fear, and excitement as we await this new birth together, both trying to reassure the other that we will be ok. Except this time, in this new genesis, it is I who will deliver her, lovingly, safely, and with peace into the hands of the creator.
It took a great deal of effort and courage on her part to get dressed and out to the event. She was valiantly undaunted by the long walk from the car, a small flight of stairs, and many people she couldn’t hear or didn’t know. Thoroughly enjoying herself, she ate more than the past two weeks combined.
Mom remarked that the best part was spending time with the inspiring and beautiful Shannon/Levine women and seeing Chelsea so happy. For me, it was different from my usual watching, as we somehow worked her memory and her joy together.
Although exhausted beyond belief, and feeling like a burnt out hollow shell of my former self, I was struck by the absence of even the slightest hint of annoyance or burden.
I remembered watching her, as she used to talk with my aunts Evelyn, Elaine, and Ruthie, on rare times when they were all together. I would try to make myself small and invisible so they would forget that I was there. From my space in the void I would breathe in the robustness of their laughter, marvel at the easy language of their sisterhood, and occasionally fall asleep hearing them still in my dreams.
The little clip of a picture included here is from that day. Even now, looking at the picture again, it is amazing to me how vibrant and well she looks. This image is in stark contrast to the majority of her days when she is no longer getting dressed, spends a good deal of time sleeping, and does not seem interested in things she has up to now enthusiastically enjoyed.
Despite her having received her pain pills on schedule she came home in enormous discomfort that took some time to manage.
Once she was settled into bed I had time to read the letter that had arrived while we were out. It was from the Veteran’s Administration informing me that her already reduced (twice) aid and attendance benefits were being cut and that we were being referred to a collection agency for repayment of said benefits. I am working diligently to right these wrongs that occurred due to an error on my part when filling out the most recent round of record keeping forms. I have absolute faith that if I continue to focus on the importance of what is happening and the messages it contains, all will be well and the monies lost will be restored. If not, I have to believe that somehow it won’t matter and things will still work out. But hey, that’s sure to be the subject of next weeks post.
Until then dear ones, delight in your everyday moments and find fun where you can.
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16 Responses to Sleight of Hand and the Silver Lining

  1. Sylvie says:

    “Except this time, in this new genesis, it is I who will deliver her, lovingly, safely, and with peace into the hands of the creator”.

    I just thought this line was so beautiful Beth.

  2. Debbie Grover says:

    Beth, again thank you. I was once again transported right there with you. May God bless you and your Mom each and every moment.

  3. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Dear Beth,

    I sure do like the way you write and I’m so glad your mom has you in her corner.

  4. Erin says:

    What an astonishing journey. I am forever struck by the paralles of our lives, knowing that though we are in different stages, we are walking similar paths and i love sharing the journey with the most amazing women I’ve been fortunate to know.

    • It would certainly appear we are related somehow, and that fact makes me smile. I love you so much and continue to appreciate ‘our next door family’. You honor me with your words.

  5. LaDonna Smith says:

    What a beautiful spunky sparkly spirit present photo of Marcia – so capturing her Herness – loving you both from oh Canada, Smithkins

  6. Ann Russell says:

    Thanks for sharing the photo of your Mom. Beautiful!

  7. Amy Lapetina says:

    I agree with Sylvie. I keep reading that line over and over again, Beth. So beautiful, so deep and tender. And your mom’s picture is gorgeous. She wouldn’t be able to do the things she is doing now if it wasn’t for you! I hope you realize that what you are giving her is immeasurable.

    • I do know. Yesterday evening we had 5 kids eating ice cream in our kitchen. Lynne and Margo Rome, were eating ice cream with Marcia in the den AND it was priceless. At one point, as Lynne and I were cleaning up I was thinking that it seems sad that sometimes until someone is dying we don’t capture the sheer miracle and joy of the everyday average moments that are still chaotic, and surely sticky, but a joy none the less. I am hoping we can continue to honor that sentiment that you and Sylvie speak of. The rest, VA benefits and bills none of it matters when all is said and done.

  8. Pamela says:

    Everything I am reading of yours today brings tears to my eyes….I almost felt like I was there with you tucking Marcia into bed…Ill keep you both in my prayers..

    • Thanks Pam. I cry a lot these days also. It is the time of life we are in. It is all good as long as we also capture the joy along the way. I love you so much.

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