Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It hits in unexpected places



I had my annual physical yesterday, and I knew it was going to be very difficult.  You see, my doctor was also my mom's doctor.  Mom and I had logged serious hours in that waiting room, in those exam rooms, in the halls.  And this time I would be alone.  I wrote to my daughter in Oregon, "Pray, please?!" and dragged myself out the door and into the car.

Coming up the hill and seeing the hospital on the right didn't do me in.  Walking in the door, filling out the forms, hearing Kristin's sweet voice calling my name...it all went pretty well.


And then she put the pulse oximeter on my finger.  The very same one that I had seen on my mother's finger dozens of times.  And I came very close to sobbing.  I held it in until she left me in the exam room, and then I completely let go.  I wept and wept and wept some more.  I didn't want to be in that room alone, where Mom and I had giggled and cried and held hands and checked our watches in impatience and compared magazine articles.  But there I was.  Alone.


Fortunately the doctor was late, I was able to cry as long as I needed to, and we had a great appointment.  He wanted to talk about Mom, how much he appreciated her attitude.  She made a difference in his life, because often patients are not so gracious toward the doctor who gives them bad news or asks them to make changes they would rather not make.  And certainly not many of them were able to laugh in the face of life-ending adversity like Mom was.  She was a gem.

As I left, I walked down halls that echoed with her laughter; I felt sad and lost and like I might feel this way for the rest of my life.

I know it's not true, but yesterday it sure did feel like it.

14 comments:

Les said...

Oh, Di. I wish I lived nearby so I could just wrap my arms around you. Grief is so sneaky and I know just what a day like yesterday feels like. Keeping you in my thoughts in the coming days (and weeks..and months).

Fondly,

Lesley

DebD said...

I have nothing to offer but my simple prayers for comfort. You are not alone, though.

Alison said...

Dear Diane,
You have been on my heart almost daily. I always, always loved your musings about life with your mom on CoQ. I miss hearing about Jean and your adventures, too. Thinking of you today and sending prayers for healing.

stephseef said...

Your tears are shared tonight.
Love,
Steph

carla said...

I used to visit your blog. In fact, it was in my bookmarks and then one of those computer things happened and I lost all my old ones. But tonight my husband found a way to get back into them and so here I am visiting again and your post today is so pertinent.

A year ago I had some of that bad news from doctors. It wasn't one doctor and none of them were ones I'd seen before. The news came slowly and indefinitely, but I did have a lobectomy 356 days ago and now I'm having shortness of breath again and will go back in for another CAT scan.

It was really nice to read how someone handled all this bad stuff with grace.

Thank you.

(And I'm so glad you've got The King's Speech on your sidebar. We saw that marvelous movie last weekend and maybe I can get my husband to take me again Friday night. Isn't it grand?)

Linda said...

I read this and know that you are walking a path I will walk some time in the future. I am so glad you had time to really cry and that the visit went well. I pray He will comfort you through these difficult days.

Carol in Oregon said...

It stinks to have the hole in your heart, that empty place.

I think it's good to have grief-bursts, don't you. Clears the lining of your soul.

Praying. Loving. Hoping.

Carol

stephseef said...

i came back this morning to see the hands again. so, so beautiful.

Susan Wise Bauer said...

Love you.

mom said...

{{{Di}}} A difficult task to go through yet God gave you the blessing of a quiet place to cry. I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to cry after my mom was gone but didn't because there wasn't that quiet space of time alone to grief. However, right now my house is quiet for a moment and I can cry with you.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Alison said...

Diane,
I have to tell you that when I looked at the photo for this entry, the color was so warm and golden and looked like oil... I thought, "What a lovely painting." When I looked more carefully today, it saw it was a photo of you and your mom, and it was even more beautiful....

A Circle of Quiet said...

Thanks for all the comments. As lonely as grief feels, many of us know the path well, don't we?

And you are right, having a place and a time to cry was a gift. And a "grief burst" is a perfect description.

Claire took the picture of our hands as she and I spent our many, many hours by Mom's side in her last days. Mom was not a huggy, hand holding person, but that all changed as she got ill. That was a sweet gift for me.

Again, thank you!

Di

A Circle of Quiet said...

Carla,
Could you email me? I would love to write to you but I could not find a contact address on your blog.
Thank you, and take care!
Di

Kathie said...

Di - I can remember the same feeling walking into the hospital where my mom spent the last 3 months of her life - so hard.

So glad that Claire had a wonderful birthday celebration - life keeps going doesn't it? And, I know you know already, but the pain lessens in time and the memories grow sweeter.

I am praying for you and sending love across the miles.