Saturday, October 27, 2007
Sunday Scribblings: Hospital
The prompt from Sunday Scribblings this week is fortuitous as my mom has just found out she is in need of surgery and a 7- to 10-day stay in the hospital. She lives in Florida, and I live clear across the country in the Bay Area. Her health, her welfare, her recovery are all on my mind.
There are five “kids,” all in our 40’s, save for the eldest, a son, who is 50. My sister and I live in California. The oldest lives in Alabama. My two other brothers live a little more than two hours away from my mom.
Four out of five kids have been talking about the upcoming stay, trying to fix it so that my mom has companionship for the weeks following her hospital stay. My mother has adamantly rebuffed any attempts by us to be there while she’s undergoing surgery and during her hospital stay. It is up to her, of course, and I’m trying my best not to fixate on the act of the surgery and the post-operative stay.
But I am a fixator. [I know it’s not a word, but I’m using it anyway.] Thankfully, my middle brother has many of the same feelings I do. He will show up at the hospital for that day, along with my younger brother. They will not intrude on her choice, but they will also not allow her to be in the hospital without people who love her nearby, emanating the vibes that everyone needs now and again.
And what of the fifth offspring, my oldest brother? Where does he fit into this quite unfamiliar familial encircling? None of us know. What we do know is that he is a rabid Jehovah’s Witness. [I wonder: is that term repetitive? Don’t “rabid” and “Jehovah’s Witness” go hand-in-hand?] He has not seen fit to see my mother in about a decade. As a Jehovah’s Boy – the term I like to use – he certainly has not acknowledged countless birthdays, Christmases, or Mother’s Days. Beyond that, though, he just doesn’t seem to acknowledge her at all. And that causes her much pain. And, in turn, that causes me much pain.
Neither my mother nor the organizing middle brother has contacted him about it. They have reached out in the past and he’s not seen fit to reach back. I do recall him calling my mother about a year ago and telling her he was going to come visit her for a week in January. He called right about the time he was going to be visiting – or so he had said – to say he couldn’t get away, but next month it would happen. It didn’t. And he’s not been in contact since.
For a man of God, he seems quite lacking in the God-encouraged attributes of love, of friendship, of honoring your parents, of being a good person. But perhaps I’ve gotten my religion wrong. Who am I to say what God desires? I will permit myself to say with certainty what a mother – most any mother – desires. And, frankly, if he can’t actually spit up any love for his mother from his soul, can’t he at least fake it for what she’s done for him in the past?
I will be emailing Jehovah’s Boy. I will be keeping out as much of the emotion as I can. I am twirling the words around in my mind. And they go something like this:
“N., I just wanted to let you know that Mom is going into the hospital next month for surgery. She’ll have to stay in the hospital for seven to 10 days. We’re trying to coordinate visiting her after the hospital stay – she doesn’t want us to actually be there, at the hospital – as the recovery time will be upwards of six weeks. S. has a handle on all of our comings and goings.
“I’ve indicated in the past that I’m not up on the teachings of your religion. I’m not sure if this falls into the realm of something you are not supposed to be a part of or if it is perhaps something you feel incapable of being a part of for whatever reason. But if you’re interested in being there, you can contact S. at EMAIL.”
What do you think? Too much of a needle or just the right amount? I’d appreciate your thoughts.
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