I've made no bones about my relationship with my mother. Those of you who listen to PsychicTeachers know of my struggles to have a harmonious relationship with my mom. It's just one of the crosses I have to bear this go around. Still, an incident occurred this week that made me realize the power of a mother's love.
I've also never hidden the struggles I've gone through dealing with my husband's brain injury. For the last seven years, I've learned first hand the difficulties of living with someone with a frontal lobe brain injury. I can handle the headaches, the short term memory loss, the difficulty being in large groups, the disdain for social settings, and the inability to handle stress. All of that I've taken in stride even though it means I don't get to host as many parties as I would like to -- it's a small price to pay. What I almost can't handle is my husband's complete lack of empathy. One of the reasons I fell in love with him all those years ago was because he had such a huge and caring heart. But with this brain injury, he has a very difficult time empathizing with others. This is no fun for the spouse -- especially when said spouse has been diagnosed with cancer.
So this past week I had my reconstruction surgery. My husband forgot the date three times, but eventually he remembered long enough to drive me to the surgery. It was a horrendous surgery for me. I woke up in terrible pain and my blood pressure was soaring. Eventually, they sent me home but over the weekend I developed an infection and had a fever wavering between 102 and 103. Monday morning, I did my best to get the kids ready for school. As I ushered them out the door, my husband followed behind and said, "Oh by the way, you'll have to find someone to pick up the kids today. I have to go out of town."
I just stared at him as my jaw dropped.
"I am sick. I just had major surgery. I can't drive for a week. And you're leaving town?"
My husband smiled and kissed my cheek. "Yeah, work sucks, huh? So, call your sister or a friend, okay?"
I nodded and closed the door behind my family. I should have known by now not to get upset. He didn't know the pain he was causing. I think that's the most frustrating part. I can't even get mad at him. Although, trust me, I do. This time though, I settled on a proper pity party and simply sat down for a good cry. I felt truly sorry for myself. I knew I could ask my sister or one of my friends, but what I really wanted was my mom. But we had a falling out over the summer and hadn't spoken since. I hadn't even told her about my surgery. She had no idea what I'd been through, and I wasn't about to call her now. With my mother, well, you just never knew how long she'd stay mad. So I just kept crying and feeling so sorry for myself with no husband to help me and not even a mother in sight bearing the requisite chicken soup. I am sure I made a pathetic sight sitting on the bottom stair of my house with my dog Lily on my lap and a box of tissues by my side.
Finally, I said allowed to God, "You know, I just wish I had my mother here. I really could use some help. You have to send someone to help me."
Almost instantly, the phone rang. I sniffed and got up to look at the caller ID. I almost dropped the phone when I saw my mother's name. I clicked the phone on and said, "Mom?"
My mom said, "Samantha, what is wrong? I just got the strongest urge to call you. Are you ok?"
I started in on my crying again and said, "No, I had surgery and I need you."
My mom said, "Give me 20 minutes to put my face on and I'll be right over."
I smiled because my mom will always be my mom -- with her elaborate makeup and designer clothes and angry outbursts -- but she is my mom. And somehow, in some crazy way, she felt my need for her that morning. She came right over -- yes, in full makeup and looking beautiful as always -- and she took care of me the whole day. We sat in my bed all day catching up as she made me lunch and got dinner ready for my girls. Later, my sister came home with my daughters, and I knew that even though my life is far from perfect, I have my very own imperfectly perfect family. And together, with God's help, we can survive anything. Even each other.