A few years ago, Mom was indecisive about splurging on new drapes and bedspreads for her room. She decided to go ahead and do it though, because, who knows, if she should ever find herself having to spend her days in bed, the bedroom may as well be pretty.
She ordered a pinker-than-I-thought-she'd-go ensemble and her bedroom now is a glowing dawn tableau. This is where I found her Tuesday morning and re-entered my space in the loving orbit her caregivers provide.
She has been this sick before. Mack truck sick is how we think of it. And each time you're hit by that Mack Truck, it gets harder and harder to get back on the road. Especially when you're 90.
We see the road and are trying to make a gentle merge back into its flow. A nurse and physical therapist are visiting Mom from our medical center; her caregivers are with her day and night. There is a new drive-through Starbuck's on the way to her house, so there are perks to my twice-daily visits.
I have been on the phone and e-mail with concerned friends and family members.
"Put it out on the street," I whisper out the side of my mouth like a leaking reporter. I am speaking to my Dad's cousin, not some crooked politico. "Here's the word. She's miserable, but she will get better." I promise updates, but the only updates are "She still feels miserable."
I conference with my brothers, who speak with her every day. I put my two cents in and take my two cents out. I declared myself disabled yesterday, and took myself out of the game a minute. I sat on the couch and stared into space, while another Designated Daughter brought me my favorite turkey on rye.
I am Designated Daughtering at Buzz Lightyear warp-speed right now. One minute I was in Disneyland, and now I'm asking you all to please clap for Tink. There's a light that needs brightening in that pink bedroom. I'd settle for 3-D if that's what it takes. Let's clap as hard as we can for Tinker Bell and the wonderful world of color and beautiful light that is so small––so fragile and precarious––and so worth it after all.
D.G. Fulford is the author of , written with her mother Phyllis Greene. She is also the co-founder of . You can find her at .
Photo credit: Marcia Smilack