Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Fall

My mother came home from the hospital today, and I just got off the phone with her. She sounds fine right now, which just makes this whole thing surreal at times. She sounds like her old self -- until she tells me that her side aches "a little bit." Now, my mother's pain tolerance is legendary (she has often had cavities drilled without Novocaine). I guess in this instance that high level pain threshold will be a good thing and will probably keep her going longer.

She spoke of a phenomenon she'd heard of where studies show that the (chronically ill) elderly are more likely to die in the Fall of the year. Coupled along with that, she'd asked her doctor point blank this morning if he thought she'd make it through the summer. He says that she will (now, I have to wonder if doctors in this instance just try to be as optimistic as possible and say what they think the patient wants to hear -- but I digress). Moreover, HE also says that the elderly are more likely to die in the Fall.

So, my mother, the uber-planner, is planning for the Fall. For one thing, she wants to see the various members of her family again -- her son, her daughter, her grandchildren (granddaughter Abbi is due home from Korea in August for a visit). But the other reason she's planning no earlier than the Fall is because (and here is my mother's great sense of whimsy) she has so many books to read. Everyone's been bringing or sending her books and she now has quite a stack. It should take her all summer to read them, she figures, and that's what she intends to do.

Along with my mother's legendary pain tolerance is her legendary stoicism and perseverance. She has things she wants to do and people she wants to see, and although she knows she is dying, she doesn't intend to let dying get in her way.

Tomorrow night she's going out to dinner with some friends.

That's my mom!



bensrib said...

Absolutely an inspiration! Aren't you just so thankful to have a mom like her?

Sara said...

Cath, I really regret that I never knew your mom...she really sounds like quite a woman. Here I sit with tears in my eyes, reading your words about her. You really do have a way with words...I feel like I know your mom now! I love her outlook on life and the fact that she is making good use of the time she does have instead of just sitting around feeling sorry for herself. She is a true inspiration and thank you for sharing her journey with us.
Much love to all of you during this time.

Catherine said...

Karen -- yes, I am very, very thankful for my mother and the way that she faces the challenges in life. I hope I can be like her some day!

Sara -- thank you for sharing the journey with me.