There was this young woman driving erradically. She cut a few people off. Sunglasses on, iphone in her hand, she was reaching behind her repeatedly. Her kids were bouncing up and down in the car, misbehaving. Her car was filthy and she was drinking Starbucks. She slammed on her brakes at the stoplight almost missing the red light, and the old woman next to her shook her head in disgust. The young woman lowered her sunglasses and the old woman could she had been crying. Her eyes were puffy, tears were making mascara run streaming rivers down her cheeks. The old woman stopped shaking her head. This young woman, she hadn't time to think about washing her car this week. The coffee was dinner. Her son with autism was the one constantly bouncing and he was whining hearing his mom cry. She was repeatedly reaching for his hand. On the phone was her sister and they were discussing their mothers options. Her mother doesn't have much time left. The past few months have been a constant strain on her siblings. She wants to fix it. There isn't any fixing it. That young woman was me. Just a couple days ago.
Some things I just can't make sense of. As human beings we have this need to control the things that are happening around us. When we can't it is frustrating, and hard to understand. I don't have any tears left. I can't make a lot of sense of anything right now. I watched something amazing yesterday. I took the boys to see my mom in the hospital. Chandler is terrified of all that is medical. Lab coats, scrubs, medical equipment..sends him into a panic. We pulled into the parking lot of the hospital. He used to go to speech at this hospital on the bottom floor, when we got there I told him he could stay in the car with Sam. He began to cry this sad, tearful cry I don't often see, so I told him "Chandler, you can come. But it isn't speech. We are here to see grandma, and she is sick." He took my hand. On the the third floor, he began to whine, and as we got closer to her room it began a full out anxious cry. I didn't have the energy to fight, and I wasn't annoyed. I simply said "If you want to stay in the hall, you can. Mom is going in. Grandma is in this room. You can stay here by the wall. It's okay." And he froze. Then he did something incredible. He clenched his fists, and he put his head down. He did a very deliberate run/walk into her room. A quick scan told him she was indeed in here, and he plopped down in the chair. She smiled at said "Chandler! I'm so proud of you!" And so was I. Proud of him. Proud of her for seeing the things in him that I do. Wondering what he understands.
I went back alone to the hospital today. I talked with the doctor and found out I do have more tears. I sat with her for a long time. She can't say much because of the pneumonia. In a few days when she is back at the nursing home I will be able to understand her better. She wants to go home. Even for the day so she can see her house, her things, her bird feeders that sit outside the window and attract hundreds of birds even in winter. She asked me today if my brother Justin could put a bird feeder outside her window at the nursing home. I told her I would ask. It made me think she probably wouldn't see another summer. Do not wait for the things you want to do. Don't wait another second for the things you want to tell people. Don't say "I'll go tomorrow. I'll call next week." Do it now. And don't judge other people based on what you think you see. Be good people, pay it forward. A few months ago I was annoyed when I saw my mom was calling me again for the fourth time in one day. God what I would give to have more time. Make every day count.