As a busy working mom of seven, I don’t often get to drop my multitasking life and concentrate on just one thing – but in July of this year I was given such a gift.
My father asked me to come home to be with them as my mom underwent major surgery. My flight arrived halfway through the lengthy surgery and I was able to be with my dad at the hospital as he waited for the operation to end and the surgeon to come and tell him the results. Those four days gave me a rare opportunity to take care of my mom as she struggled with pain, nausea, and the confusion caused by the anesthetic and to be with my dad during those long days at the hospital.
There were so many opportunities to express love and affection – in getting ice chips, a cool cloth for her face, sitting her up so the nausea would pass, rubbing her feet or simply holding her hand – and it was during that time I was able to give back to her a small bit of the care and affection she has given to me.
I also had rare one-on-one time with my dad. I haven’t lived at home since I left for law school 25 years ago and I’ve never spent so much uninterrupted time with my father. We talked, laughed and reminisced and I got to know my dad a little better….and in being with my parents I understood again those deeply held convictions of faith and family that came from them and permeate my life.
That brief interlude gave me a deeper appreciation for family and the bonds that support and strengthen through the generations…strength that I pass on to my children.