Saturday, May 26, 2012


This is entry number thirty-three in this here blog, and that number has me thinking.

My mom was thirty-three when she had me, her last child of four, her second daughter. I was thirty-three when I had my first daughter. Three is my favorite number, so two of them together is good, right?

Plus, one time when Nine and Seven were just Three and Two and we took them to Disneyland, Belle told Nine that "Three is the most MAGICAL number" (and then Aurora nodded with a knowing smile). I don't know if you've ever heard Belle speak in person but that girl is convincing. Her voice sounded like a kiss from an angel and I found myself nodding furiously and shrugging my shoulders and getting choked up as she said that to my girl. I was all, she's right, this IS magical, it's all magical, we're all covered in fairy glitter dust and the world doesn't exist outside of Disneyland and this moment and I can barely see straight enough to take my 249th photo because the silver lining is so bright right this very magical second.

But this week hasn't been quite so magical. I'm hoping as I write that I find my way to a magical place again. Come along if you aren't already wondering what in the world my point might be.

(And by the way, don't judge me or my Disney princess moment. You can look down at me from your anti-princess pedestal, hating what they stand for and blah blah blah, but when you see one of them look at your baby girl, or your niece, or your friend's kid in the flesh, you too, will forget that she is just a student {with some sort of tattoo under that satin gown} trying to make a Hyundai payment so she can take her cheating boyfriend to Subway after work. You will forget all of that and you too will think that girl eats berries brought to her by bluebirds and that she farts butterflies. You will.)

Back to the real world.

This week, my Mom had a procedure done, and as seems to be par for her difficult course, she had complications afterward. The kind of complications that sent her screeching back to the hospital in an ambulance and sent the ER doctor running out to make sure she was going to make it into the hospital at all, what with her blood pressure hovering at 233/80 and her pupils constricted to pinpoints.

She couldn't breathe, it seems. She'd been overmedicated to the point of overdose. She needed oxygen and blood pressure medication to stabilize her. She stayed in ICU for three days, where a lung infection took hold, so she was put on antibiotics as well. She's now in a regular room and we hope my Dad can take her home today because her vitals look good and she's starting to be a bitch again, which in this case, means Mom is BACK. When she's endured a health crisis, we know that once that fire gets stoked again, we're in the clear.

As you might guess, this isn't the first time we've had a close call. We've had enough medical mishaps with that lady that I am now convinced she is actually part cat. I'm not sure how many lives she's burned through so far, but I do know she's got at least a couple left. 

Which is a very, very good thing, because I need my Mom. My Dad needs her too, and my girls, and my brother and the rest of the family and her friends, but I need her most. Me. This one typing right here. I do. I don't know how those of you who have already lost your Moms live your life with that Mom-shaped hole in your heart, and I hope I don't have to learn that route anytime soon. 

I think my Mom feels the same way about me. There's something special there. 

She called me from ICU a few days ago, as I was driving Nine and Seven to school. I saw the call was from out of state, so I figured it might be her, or my Dad calling from the hospital, so I handed my coffee to Nine, picked up the phone and pulled over because I had a feeling this wasn't the conversation to conduct on speaker with the kids in the car.

She said: "I didn't overdose." And I said "Mom, I know you didn't." but I was thinking, What, no crack hit in recovery? Dad didn't provide you with your usual dose of heroin on the way home from the hospital? Duh.

But that wasn't what got me. 

Because then she said this: "When I couldn't breathe, I was so scared, and all I could see was you. All I saw was you. And you were dancing and dancing, and I knew I was going to be okay. And then when I got to the hospital, I couldn't see anything."

In that moment, where she felt like she was facing her darkest fear, she saw my face. And when she told me that through her tears, her voice sounded like the kiss of an angel and I melted into a puddle of my own quiet, salty tears. It was me, sobbing into my cell phone, with Nine and Seven in the back seat holding my coffee watching everyone else drive by on the way to school, asking me "Mom, why aren't you driving, we're going to be late again!?".

So I don't know if my Mom is part princess or part cat or part bitch or what configuration of magic she is, but I do know that she is alive and kicking and headed back home to my Dad within the next 24 hours, which is a lot better than where I thought she might be headed a few days ago.

I thank God that He let her stay here. I get more time to have her love me and to love her back. When I see her, she will look at me with lovesick eyes and I will let her. I will lay my head in her lap and let her stroke my hair, and I will inhale and outhale and try to burn the moment into my brain as deeply as it will sink into my heart.

She tells me I am her sunshine. I will keep doing my best to brighten her day the way only I can, and I will hope and pray for more and more days to do just that. And I will hope that a very, very, very long time from now, when she is gone, that I will still be able to shine bright, but I have a feeling I am only a reflection of her and that I may go dark. I can't bring myself to think about that happening, so I won't try.

Instead, for now, I will picture her face and hear her voice and feel her touch, and I will burn bright for the both of us, for as long as she needs me to.


  1. Damn you Amy, I really don't feel like crying right now. So instead, I am going to go inhale the smell of my kids' heads while they are sleeping and pray they love me with that kind of love when they are as old as we are.

  2. So glad she's okay. I can tell from your description of her that you've got good genes, Amy. I don't fault you for a second for the princess moment. We've al had them.