i didn’t finish my basket weaving today…and that’s as it should be, i suppose
we aren’t ever…finished. there is always something left undone, something to change about ourselves, a new path to take
i think i will leave this one as it is…to remind me of how we change as we grow, taking on new form as our days are added
i have changed as each moment, each day…each year…wove itself into me. and as my basket is, i am, not yet done
i will never be done
i’m tired…exhausted, really
i’m angry. and worried. i’m scared
as i print journal articles, and copies of months of medical records to fight in this appeal to insurance, i look over at lingering son
he’s fought so hard. we all have…and it shows in both his healing, and in his eyes
i am fighting a machine so enormous, i scarcely know where to begin
so i begin with logic and facts…and land on humanity and compassion
on the value of a life being about more than dollars and cents
on what it costs us all when we begin to lose sight of that intrinsic value, and pursue instead one we can count on balance sheets
lingeringson’s life is in the balance
it’s tipping, and i’m going to set it right
insurance has a finger on the scale, and i’m going to right it
or die trying
i know your body better than i
know my own…at least these last few years
it seems so wrong…mothers study their newborns, marveling at the wonder of a new life, and the magic in each tiny finger and toe…
yet i find myself taking stock of each now familiar feature, your landscape, with every touch..some thirty years past your birth
your brown eyes close with pleasure as i stroke your boyish mop of dark, curling hair…every scar, every ridge of mended bone, bearing witness to your struggle
i massage and stretch once strong, firm limbs…now relieving cramps and contractures
how much i’d rather hear complaints of sore muscles…of bosses, and schedules, and bills
this is your life, i am a participant…no longer an observer watching as you rise
if you wish to climb a rock, i will find a way
if you wish to toil in the sun, i will be by your side
if you wish to fly, i will be your wings
a sense of purpose…
yet when we find it, it’s as familiar as a well worn shoe
it at once settles and excites…stimulates us into action without indecision
i often wonder…what is the sense of purpose for lingering son?
he is assured of our love, his value, his presence in our lives…but what purpose is in his heart?
i chafe at hearing the word ‘inspiration’…at the idea his life is what it is to help others be “better”
as if he owes the inspiration of disability to society
no, his life is…his
his purpose is not mine to grasp, because it is, at the end of the day…his own, woven in and through our lives
we parents…we watch our children grow with wistful eyes and full hearts
bearing witness through the stages of life, as they run and float and fly
one day nursing a tiny wrinkled newborn…the next, it seems, standing by a grown son or giving away a bride
the days between fall, one by one, like autumn leaves, until we give our child to the world to carry on
but for this lingering son, there will be no wedding day, no firstborn, no flight from the nest
his life is different, yes, but his alone…and we who love him bear witness to that life, to his existence, to the meaning of it all
home. the word evokes mental pictures, memories, feelings, and for most…a deep longing.
i say the word often, as lingering son completes his third week in icu. home evokes feelings of hope for him. hope for family, hope for normalcy and routine. hope for love over perfunctory politeness.
hope for the place everyone knows how he communicates, where everyone speaks to him as an adult, where there is comforting, and no one asks ‘what does he go by?’.
home is where wiggling toes or shoulder shrugs are greeted with encouragement. where his wrinkled brow says he needs a change of pace, or something isn’t right. home is where he is part of life, not someone’s job for the day.
we hope to go home in the morning.
it’s about time.
my mom was not a very good cook. she was a lot of things…smart, pretty, educated, and opinionated. but cooking was not her strong point.
i’m pretty sure she got the ‘not a great cook’ gene from my grandma. i remember Sundays visiting with the kids, taking with us a box of fried chicken from Knott’s…in self defense to her dreaded meatloaf. its makings were a mystery, but i wager there were far more cracker crumbs than meat in that loaf, and what meat there was, was eighty percent fat. meatloaf aside, no one loved you like Grandma. she made wonderful noodles that i’ve still never replicated. the less than aptly named ‘never fail noodles’.
i have a recipe from my Grandma’s tin, handwritten and a bit faded. it’s for Vinegar Pie. she won a pie baking contest one year (bad year for fruit??) with this pie. my mind conjures up visions of sour faced judges, fresh from the pickle competition…
we’ve all heard the saying ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. well, vinegar pie is my lemonade.
we all have vinegar in our lives. it’s useful for some things, usually in small quantities. it offsets too much sweetness, and lends its own tangy flavor. on its own, it is sour and disagreeable. blended with the right balance of ingredients, it turns into something good. like vinegar pie.
thank you, Grandma Woolverton. your chicken noodles are still the best i’ve ever tasted, though it’s been nearly 30 years. and Mom…you taught me well. maybe not cooking, but i learned how to comment, editorialize, and advocate…from you. 💞