01 Dec A Transformational Moment
The call came early on Sunday morning, the weekend before Christmas. It was my sister Cathy with news that my 91-year-old mom had fallen and was on the way to the hospital. One of those moments where my primal fears are activated: My mom’s life is in jeopardy!
It was a close call. Mom was wearing an electronic medical alert bracelet and she had pushed the button, which then glowed red, signifying that help was on the way – except it wasn’t. The bracelet malfunctioned. Hours later she had managed to push with her heels and navigate to where my dad was sleeping – he called my sister, she called 911 and the ambulance came to take my hypothermic mom to the emergency room, where they found she had fractured her pelvis.
Call in the troops – My sister Mary drives down to Oregon from her home in Washington State and Cathy and Mary stay with my Dad, who has severe short-term dementia and can’t recall that Mom is hospitalized for more than half an hour. I make airline reservations. All is being done that can be.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning. I have started my day, preparing to pack, handling things in the office so I can be away for 10 days. Shya makes me breakfast. I bring the plate of fresh fried eggs and bacon with me to our sunroom and sit on the couch to catch a bit of a morning news program. I set the heated plate on my lap. I look down at my food and things go soft focus. My gaze has turned inward. My mind is at the starting line, engine revving – vroom, vroom. Preparing to go to the races, whirring faster, things to complete, tasks to handle, what will be waiting for me, what will happen, being away from Shya for the holidays…Re-focus, and suddenly my eggs and bacon reappear.
I lift my fork.
I take a breath.
I move slowly and deliberately.
I see all four tines on the fork. I move it with precision toward my food…bring all my attention there/here as I cut through the egg white.
I feel the texture of the egg and realize that it is slightly rubbery and unique.
I am back in real time.
While we had been lying in bed two nights before on Sunday, as sleep eluded me, I heard Shya say from the darkness, “Are we Okay?”
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“I can feel your distance. You must be thinking.”
“Yes.” I smile.
A pause. Still no sleep.
“It only takes a moment to get weird.” He says.
I smile again. “So true!”
I understand this. If I follow my thoughts into the future and worry about what ifs and try to plan for contingencies and fret, getting “weird” is virtually assured.
Back to the couch – It’s Tuesday morning. The heat of my plate warms my pant legs and my thighs upon which it rests. Fork in hand I taste my egg. Bacon will be the next bite. And I realize, once again, it only takes a moment to be here as well.