There was a time, as Mom to four, when all I wanted for Mother’s Day was to sleep in and spend the day in bed reading a book. This is the year my wish came true, but it’s because I had a gum graft on Friday, and am not allowed any excitement that may raise my blood pressure for five days. It also means breakfast-in-bed consisted of pudding and ice-cream.
Despite my restrictions, my family has done as much as they can to make me feel special and appreciated. I arrived home from spending five days in Toronto at the Enactus National Exposition, on Thursday at suppertime. (That will be a separate post.) Because I arrived before D’Arcy could get to Halifax from Pictou after school, Evan and Alex came to the airport to pick me up. I had offered to take them for something to eat, but D’Arcy texted me and told me to come right home and not to feed anyone.
When I walked in the door, I could smell lobsters cooking, and discovered that he had planned a celebration of my successes in Toronto with my team, and also an early Mother’s Day meal since I wouldn’t be able to eat on Sunday. He had prepared lobsters, asparagus, green salad, cabbage rolls, and garlic bread, and had opened a bottle of wine.
We were chatting in the kitchen, telling stories and getting caught up, when Olivia brought Caroline, the guinea pig in.
I immediately knew something was wrong. Since I had held her the week before, she had lost about half her body weight and she wasn’t squeaking at me like she normally would. I told D’Arcy we needed to put supper on hold and call the vet. I won’t go into detail, but we took Caroline to an emergency appointment where she was diagnosed with an abscess. The vet dealt with it, gave her fluids, put her on antibiotics and sent us home with the equivalent of “boost” for rodents. The girls were relieved and took her home a couple hours later with a renewed sense of hope.
They were sent to bed and D’Arcy and I had a chance to dine together on our now-cold dinner. It was still delicious.
In the morning, Caroline was still with us, but not perky. I held her while Olivia gave her the antibiotic and we tried to get her to take her supplement. Before they went to school, I advised them to tell her that they loved her – just in case. Within an hour, our sweet Caroline had stopped breathing, aged 3.5, knowing she was well-loved.
I got cleaned up and went to my gum-graft. Yuck. (Honestly, the procedure itself wasn’t as bad as I’d anticipated, but I was on some happy-drugs and was well frozen.) D’Arcy took me home after the procedure and sent me to bed. I got up only long enough to participate in the funeral where Caroline was peacefully buried under a tree in the yard by Olivia, with the rest of us supporting her and Neil Diamond playing on the ipad.
Saturday was a sleep/read/cuddle day while the family coped and conspired.
I was up before anyone else on Mother’s Day morning to take my pain meds and antibiotics. It wasn’t long before I started to receive visits with cards, poems, and paintings from everyone as they awoke. Despite feeling crappy, I feel truly loved and appreciated. I am amazed by the girls’ artwork, and will take some to my office at school. Sarah’s watercolour of Five Islands will be framed and put on display at home.
This Mother’s Day I have friends grieving the loss of their moms due to death or dementia, friends grieving the loss of their unborn babies, and I have been thinking of the new moms I met in Africa – especially the mom who lost her baby. Although I felt spoiled and did enjoy having the opportunity to read two novels this weekend, I would rather have been well enough to have had quality time with my mom, D’Arcy’s mom, and my family.
Thank your mother.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich