“This one…” Mom slowly said, pointing carefully to the Easter decoration with her left hand while tightly holding onto the walker with her right. Dad reached over and added the colorful egg to the collection in his arms; mine were already full of rabbits.
It was July, and the Easter decorations were finally getting put away. Mom was home on a few hours break from the rehab center this sunny Saturday, and it bugged her that the Easter decorations were still up. Mom’s fall and traumatic head injury came just before Easter, and Dad had left everything where it was during Mom’s months of hospital and rehabilitation stay. It was a good sign in Mom’s recovery that she could articulate she wanted the decorations put away.
Mom adjusted the helmet on her head. The bone wasn’t put back yet, so she still needed the protection. My sisters Tricia and Sue had come up with the idea of decorating the helmet. Sue came in one day to the hospital and Bedazzled it with colorful plastic jewels. Mom was pleased with the compliments about her helmet that she got from the nursing and therapy staff and fellow rehab patients.
Dad and I were using the search for Easter decorations as part of Mom’s home therapy – a kind of “Where’s Waldo” game. It helped Mom to focus, as she tried to remember where she put the dozens of festive items she places around the house each Easter season. Dad and I would fill our arms with items, put them in the back room for temporary storage, then come back to Mom who would use the walker to move to the next room to show us more.
Mom standing and able to move around with a walker, speaking and reasoning: truly a miracle based on her injury. It took her almost three agonizing weeks to briefly open her eyes after the brain surgery. There were long weeks in the first hospital, three weeks of acute rehab in another, and still more weeks in the current rehabilitation facility. Each step in Mom’s recovery was a milestone, her progress amazing her doctors and nursing staff.
Mom says she doesn’t remember most of the first two months, but there was a determination in her even then to get better and back to her full capabilities before the fall. Prayers have been around the clock for Mom, and yes Dad and the family. These prayers are what hold us all up during the dark times and times of joy, as Mom continues to recover.
Dad has been at Mom’s side every day during these past months. God in the Ordinary is showing through Dad in his offering of support and encouragement to Mom during the visits. And in turn, I can see God in Mom, as she supports Dad in her own way.
Mom’s recovery is looked at as a miracle. She understands that, too, and shares that this is very humbling. We don’t have any explanation, no logical reason, just very, very grateful hearts.
© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2012