sitting through suffering.

I sit silently in the dark. The low rumble of the fan and the glow of the computer screen are my only companions at this time of night. It is a welcomed break from the sterile hospital rooms and straight to the point doctors.

This whole mess began with a simple phone call.
“Mom’s had a seizure.”

Deep breath. As if it were my last. My mother wasn’t responsive. I didn’t feel the need to be either. Suddenly it didn’t matter anymore.

After the initial rush to the emergency room, the whirl and panic of busy hallways filled with the sick and dying, the confusion that comes when faced with your own humanness – we were sent home with a cocktail of painkillers and blood thinners. For all the white jackets I talked to in that terrible place, not one had a good answer, no game plan, nothing to comfort or convince us things would be ok. And I hate them for it.

Days passed. Not much change. The days are long and the nights are longer. Sunlight faded from the sky. Darkness somehow won.

My mother lies motionless for the first time in hours and her quiet crying has stopped – for now.
I beg Jesus to lessen her pain and silently hope that she will finally be able to get some rest.

My eyes are as dry and weary as my heart. I need to cry. But can’t.
Providing ’round the clock care for my mother has become my second full-time job. “Sitting through suffering” might as well be the job description.

No one willingly signs on for this.

My eyelids are falling and opening. Falling and opening. Jolting awake, so as not to miss a cry, or whimper, or anything that may signal my mothers need for help. It is still dark, the fan still blows, and the computer screen has dimmed when I hear her stir. She needs something. Her lack of words doesn’t keep me from understanding that she is crying out for medicine and healing.

Only one of which I, as her daughter, can provide.

With tired eyes I reach, turn on the lamp, and search through the medicine on the counter. It takes everything in my being to hold back the tears as I return to my mother with the right amount of sedatives and pain killers. My feeble attempt at providing comfort.

Again, I talk to Jesus. I beg for morning to soon arrive.
And that tomorrow would be a better day.

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4 thoughts on “sitting through suffering.

  1. That’s amazing. Such a picture of the comfort we try to provide on earth, while praying that Jesus Himself intervenes to comfort the soul.

  2. alison, thank you for sharing such raw heart. it reminded me of when we lost my father suddenly. i think i wandered, and wandered, and in some ways still wander, but getting it down on paper helped me walk through the pain.

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