I started work at 7:00 a.m. yesterday. I came and started the routine: preparing breakfast, bringing in the newspapers, setting the tables, going to some of the people who get up very early and helping them with the compression socks (they can be really hard to put on and almost all of them have to use them) and then waited until the rest of the staff came.
A while after I went to give the medicine to one of the ladies, a 90-something years old little woman who is always so thankful for all we do. As I opened the door I heard her screaming "mamma, mamma!" She was having what seemed to be an awful nightmare. One of my co-workers rushed in and we started to calm her down. It took a while, and she was in panic for a few seconds. It must have been a vivid dream, and a scary one. As soon as she understood where she was her expression changed from fear to deep, deep sadness in the blink of an eye... "For a moment I had clean forgotten that my mom has been gone for so long" she mumbled as tears filled her tired blue eyes.
On my break I rushed to the staff room and read as much as I could of Stephanie Nielsons "Heaven is Here". I read about her feelings of frustration and the deep unbearable sadness it gave her to realize that she could not be a mom for her kids, and that it was going to be painful and long until she could, if she ever reached the goal.
When I walked home at 4:30 p.m., after what had been a long and tiresome day, I started thinking about my little girls and the image of the fragile old 90 year old woman crying for her mom shook me up. I started to think about the influence a mother has in her children, how they will always go to her in times of fear, sadness or despair, no matter how old they have grown. Of course not every one of us has the tremendous blessing to seek for their mom (or the memory of her), some mother-child relationships are far more complicated than we could ever imagine... But I didn't think about those troubled relationships yesterday, I just thought about how much and how deeply I could touch my girls life, for better or for worse, and how they will seek me in years to come, and how much they might miss me when I'm gone. To realize how important I can be in the life of others came as an overwhelming feeling, but at the same time it filled my heart with warmth.
Sometimes it gets busy, breakfast, doing their hair, taking them to daycare, stopping fights about who gets to keep the inside of toilet paper roll (and some other very "serious" stuff as well), planning dinner: it has to be balanced, healthy, varied, cheep, easy and fast to cook and everybody has to like it, and that can turn into a full time job, believe me! saying "no" so many times a day it sometimes get me in a bad mood... yes, it is a lot of work but I can do it, I can braid my girls hair, and give them baths, and take them to daycare holding hands... and i get to dry their tears with my lips and give them the last kiss of the day late at night and the first one in the morning. And I became so powerful since they came into my life that I can heal wounds by blowing on them. And as silly as it may sound, sometimes it takes a screaming old lady to get me to think about how blessed I really am.