I got the phone call on Saturday.
My mom had been admitted to intensive care in Duluth.
I got in the car. With me was my eldest daughter, Leah. After explaining to her bosses at the wondrous bakery where she works what the need was, they sent her on her way with a bag full of cookies and hearts full of concern. Both travelled well with us.
We got to the hospital and there was my tiny mother hooked up to many things. Her medical issues were many; the presenting chief among them was pneumonia.
There was church to do the next morning. The culmination of a new thing – a spring stewardship focus – was on the docket.
I needed to stay in Duluth. My heart could not imagine leaving. So I called a good and tender man who agreed to preach, leaving me free to be daughter and sister and mom.
My mother was moved the next morning to a regular room. This is good. They are seeking to understand how her health got so fritsy and what those spots on her liver are and there are questions that need answering and plans to be made but this I know:
Tenderness is an exquisite thing.
I feel it holding me and my mother and our family and while seeing She Who Must Be Obeyed hooked up and weakened is the stuff of child angst, I know her to be wise and strong and she will encounter this as she has the rest of her life: with surety and grace.
And we who are her children will live as we have been taught. We are led by a woman who taught skating lessons for years. And when we fell really hard and she saw it, she did not come swooping up to hold us in our pain. She was present from across the rink, assessing our ability to get up and skate on.
She believed in our strength.
With surety and grace we will learn our way.