“Because she has a tube shoved down her throat.”
That’s what Loud Nurse tells my friend Julie about why Julie’s mother is sedated, about why her mother doesn’t even blink an eye when we enter her CCU cave with, “We’re here! How are you?”
A daughter looks at her mother dependent on oxygen from a machine and nutrition from a bag of liquid inserted in veins. And wonders, “Are you still with me, Mom? How much longer?”
She tries to keep her tears minimal, unnoticed.
~ * ~ * ~
Another hospital bed, another mother. This one holds my friend T, fighting back from surgery that means she’ll never house kids inside her body again. She wants to get better now for the kids she already has.
A daughter herself, she introduces us to Father at her bedside, watching over his baby girl, grown, but still his.
~ * ~ * ~
A third day, a third hospital, a third woman. Well, and fourth. My niece Whitney has just birthed her first child, a perfect little girl prepared for, wanted, loved. And now fought over, “You have to share her, Mama Jo. It’s my turn to hold her now.”
We flash cameras at faces, documenting first steps off the start line of this mother/daughter journey, one that won’t end until not one but both of them have completed the race.
~ * ~ * ~
It was okay. She was my mom. She is still.
Because as long as I’m here, she’s still here, too.
As is my middle girl. Still here, even though I haven’t seen her in 20 years, my last look in her eyes at a hospital.
Being a woman—being human—is sometimes complicated. And oftentimes uncomfortable. And many times so full of joy that you can barely hold it together.
But still, from beginning to end—and beyond, where there’s love, there’s life.
God sustains us still. Mother to daughter and on and on and on. We birth. We die. With each other we breathe the moments in between.
Thank God for baby girls and old mamas and daughters in the middle, some we see with eyes and others only with hearts.
But all still here.
* * *
What woman in your life is “still here” even though she’s gone?
What women currently in your life keep you going?
- Not perfecting the words: The Word perfecting me
- Memory verses for trips (and free printable)