Wednesday, December 31, 2014


“…People are rivers, always ready to move from one state of being into another. It is not fair, to treat people as if they are finished beings. Everyone is always becoming and unbecoming.” 
― Kathleen WinterAnnabel


I've wondered how I would end 2014 with my word, become?  I've searched for an answer of what I've become over the course of the last year.

But maybe it doesn't just boil down to one word.  

It wasn't until I saw this grainy, out-of-focus pic I took of my mom, that part of what I've both become, and un-become, is more clear to me.

I feel as though I've traveled light years over the past few weeks.

Last Tuesday night, I had just finished meeting with our Stage IV group, Fourward, and was ready to head home, exhausted from a full day of appointments. 

When I realized I had missed 5 calls, I knew something was up.  

After a good check up the day before, my mom was suddenly feeling very sick.

Rick went and picked her up, while I waited near the ER.

We got her quickly registered, but then as we rounded the corner to the waiting room, the scene stopped me short.  

Hardly an empty chair to be found.  Everywhere we looked were people, covered with masks.  Lots of people held emesis bags, some were bundled in blankets.  Everywhere we looked, were so many sick people, and it was still late afternoon.

I found an empty space and rolled my mom in next to me on the aisle.  

And waited.

For hours.

Nobody moved.

People coughed, babies cried, and people looked miserable.  

But the line was long.  We were in for a long night.

My stomach growled, hungry for dinner.  My back ached trying to find comfort in the stiff chair.  I finally leaned my head forward and rested it in my lap.

It was then that my mother offered her opinion of my hair.

"When I see your hair in this light, boy it sure looks in rough shape."  The ends are split.  And that color?  Did you do that color?  Looks streaky.  What is going on with your hair?"

I'm rubbing my eyes with fatigue, as a million smart replies flash through my head.

Really?  Why can't this ever be easy?  I feel like I am 14 again.


But I am not, 14.  

And throughout the course of the night, as she relies on me to navigate through all parts of the ER experience, I slowly begin to realize, I've become more than her daughter.

I am her caretaker.  Her medical interpreter.  Her soft place to fall, when she hands me her pants and whispers "could you please take these home and wash them? I didn't quite make it to the restroom."  

I can't be angry.  I can't hold onto the past of who she was.  Who I was.  

I've had to become, as I've watched her un-become… and yet.

Throughout the course of her 9 day hospital stay- I've watched her go through procedure after procedure.  I've seen her pale, gaunt and weak, fighting just to keep food down.  Yet her humor remains intact, as well as her compassion for others.  Her spirit is strong, despite the guarded words of her doctor yesterday.  Day after day, as we celebrate Christmas round her bed, her spirit is undaunted.  As she is told day after day, she can't leave, she remains unphased, steady, in her demeanor.

In spite of everything, she is becoming once again.  Grace filled.  Brave.  With a side of sass and humor.  My mom.  Always my mom.  

As I step into 2015, I am only left to ponder, how many more times we'll become, and un-become, as we move forward into the future of all our tomorrows. 

Happy New Year!   

My new word… revealed soon.  


  1. Just finished reading this. Still holding my breath.

    So rich and deep and wide. Am going to try to send my mom the link. She's learning to use her iPhone. Doesn't have a computer.

  2. I can't wait to read your word Vicky. Mine is up! I hope your 2015 will bring an abundance of blessings. I'm so sorry what you've been through. But I can't help but feel a depth of gratitude that you can push through those old, powerful feelings and serve your mama. It is not easy. And it's quite unfair since you have your own medical issues to watch. But you will move through this with no regrets. XXOO

  3. An amazing post. Thank you for sharing your "becoming". I can't wait to see what your 2015 word is. Hugs to you and Happy 2015! xo

  4. Praying for easier days for you and your family in the year ahead. Many blessings for the New Year.

  5. oh sweetie…praying for your entire family that the step into 2015 goes smoothly. i can't wait to see your word. i know it will be a good one!!! hugs!!!

  6. Praying 2015 is a better year for You and your Mom. Happy New Year, Vicky!

  7. Oh, you authoress...

    you spelled out the picture of emerg so well...praying for your dear mama...and you...

    wishing you much happiness this new years eve and rest to fill your bones with strength...

    love you, Vicky!

  8. Such tender, difficult times caring for your mom. Wishing you much health and lightness in the new year.

  9. This is beautiful. You are an artist when it comes to words. Bless your mom's heart, and yours.

    I am still meditating on my word. I have LOVED my year of joy, I hate to leave it.

    I am looking forward to reading about yours :-)

  10. It is such a difficult and confusing and trying journey, that of becoming the caregiver to a parent who is failing. For me, it's a real test because my relationship with my father was not a good one, and yet I'm the only one willing at this stage of his life, to help him where he needs it. So I have to find the "stuff" to do what I should do for him so that I have no regrets when he passes.

    I chuckle when you tell us of how your mother is looking at your hair.... My mom regularly tells me I look tired.. when I tell her.. this is just my 50 year old face, mom... really. It seems she is surprised by the signs of aging she sees in her daughters and I wonder if she ever recognized it in herself.

    Your mother's brave courageous heart rimmed with humor reminds me of you.. apples and not falling far, you know.

    Happy, Healthy, Sane, Inspired 2015 to all - xo

  11. My word, Vicky. If anyone ever personified the word "grace" it is you. It would take me a lot more than a year of "becoming" to become able to handle what you faced and not lose it. But I understand. My mother constantly tells me I am "so patient." I used to fake it by feeling torn up inside but presenting a calm front. Now, I have just resolved to not let her comments and the difficulties steal my peace because then the cost IS way too high so I really AM patient. Maybe she senses that. I had to laugh at Karen Ann's reply about HER mother's remarks. I tell mine the same thing. They seem to think we are perpetually 22 and ought to look it.

    But you have MORE than your plate full, Honey. You are at a banquet table that is overflowing. My heart goes out to you, and to your mom, and I hope family can stay longer and help you in ways you desperately need. Your own resistance is low. I HATE to think of you sitting in that ER being exposed to all these very sick people. Praying the cavalry shows up. God love you and protect you.


I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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