Shortly after that, I was diagnosed and a long, trying journey began. I kept Michael's letter with me in the hospital and the subsequent nursing home.
THIS year, during the same weeks before Mother's Day, I've been having a glorious mom experience. Which is why I'm writing this post.
Michael had been studying abroad in Kathmandu, Nepal for the semester. He found a way to text me and call me while he was there. Such joy! Here's why: when I was diagnosed last July, the doctors, hospital chaplain and palliative care specialists were encouraging me to consider extending my life by managing the disease, instead of choosing hospice.
They asked me, what could I still experience that gives me enough pleasure to be worth living, even if just for 2 more days? Or 2 more weeks, 2 more years, or possibly decades? As I thought about that, I immediately recalled the pure pleasure I get when Michael calls or texts me with his "fun facts." (Meaning something cool happening in his life.) Or when he is sorting something out and I get to be his sounding board. Or he wants to tell me the details of his adventures. Or he wants to share his insights and aha's!
I am such a growth junkie, and his interests fortuitously align with mine. I become filled with enthusiasm when he shares his discoveries with me. I grow in those moments. All of these moments give me great pleasure. They also give me reasons to talk to other people about him. If I need help lifting my spirit, an easy way is to talk to someone about my son, and what he's up to. Someone genuinely interested in hearing about him. So, while I was prepared to not hear from him (and try to believe that I wasn't missing out) for his semester abroad, he stayed in touch!
As it turned out, none of the students where harmed, even tho some were scattered out in surrounding areas doing research. Very little damage occurred in the part of the city where the program was located. As far as I know, all the host families were safe and their homes undamaged. Michael texted me after the quake to tell me about it and let me know that he was safe. So I didn't worry about him. While some parents were waiting anxiously to hear news of their kids, I was enjoying my life, and Michael's updates about his life.
We are fortunate. The program's insurance got the students back to the USA fairly quickly. The evacuation details changed frequently, but it didn't matter. Michael flowed with it, and landed back on his beloved college's campus - welcomed by many people who love him. (And gifted with a big, welcome salad by the friend who picked him up at the airport.) He texted me that evening, "I'm so happy!"
Yep, it's worth everything to get to enjoy more of these moments! My heart sings, my face smiles, and love just pours forth from within me to anyone in my path, when I hear from Michael. Even when I don't hear from him, I'm hearing from him. We understand each other, and our inner-net communication is always going. I'm blessed. I get to enjoy our version of Mother's Day every day.
© Text & Photos - Vicki Nelson. Please feel free to share this post.