by J.I. Soucie
I have been where you are, or where you once were. Taking care of a chronically ill person is no easy feat. It takes commitment, patience, understanding, compassion, and faith.
Sixteen years ago this April events occurred that changed my life. I was seventeen, the youngest of six kids, and the only one still living at home with my parents.
We lived in a two story, brown-shingled, farmhouse just outside of Watertown, New York. It was a cold January evening and my mother was sitting in her blue recliner, watching the evening news and crocheting. I sat across the room from her, and watched the news. I didn’t care much for the news, but I knew my mother did, and even being in the same room with her was comforting. I watched my mother periodically. I had a sense something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what it was. It was a feeling that was strong and I couldn’t ignore.
Most of the local news was over when I looked at my mother. She suddenly covered her mouth up, threw her crocheting to one side, and scurried to the bathroom. My heart began to race as I wondered what was happening. I prayed she would be all right. I turned back to the news briefly, before I heard my mother’s voice. She was talking to my father. I couldn’t quite hear everything she said, but she mentioned something about calling her doctor. Not good!
I watched her enter the room with the cordless phone and sit down in her chair. She thumbed through the rolodex on the table by her chair and found her doctor’s number. My muscles were tense as I listened to Mother speak to the answering service. “I have been vomiting bile. What should I do?” A slight pause… “Go to the E.R?”…another pause… “Okay.” And mother hung up the phone.
.….Stay tuned for the next installment on Thursday….