“Let me check your temperature baby,” Is what your mom said as you lie limp in your bed. She rubs your forehead with one hand while she holds the thermometer under your armpit with the other. Your body is trembling and you reach for the garbage can beside your bed. She gently rubs your back while you try your hardest to let it all out. Nothing happens so you roll back onto the bed. She pulls the covers up to your neck and gives the sides a little pat down. She leaves the room and you hear the dryer start just before you hear the kitchen cabinets close. When she returns, she has a glass of ginger ale, but she doesn’t allow you to drink it right away because it still has too much fizz. While she wait for the ginger ale to go flat, she goes back into the kitchen to grab a pack of saltines. When she returns to your room, she has the crackers and warm sheets with a blanket. She helps you off the bed but before you can gather your balance, the bed is all made up and she’s tucking you in again. You close your eyes and let out a slight moan of relief. She pass you two crackers and you wash them down with the lukewarm ginger ale.
Your childhood was filled with memories like these of your mother; but it wasn’t just you that your mom cared for and nurtured. She loved “nursing” people back to health and devoted her life to the well-being of others. She served on both the nurses guild and the missionary committee at church. She was always happy to help and there was never a bad time to request for her assistance.
Now you find yourself sitting beside her bed preparing ginger ale and crackers for her, while the nurse checks her temperature and change her dresssings. You see all the love and appreciation for your mother surrounding the room and it brings tears to your eyes. “Lord please don’t take her from me. Not now,” is what you say to yourself. The nurse finishes with her and you sing her favorite hem, “God has smiled on me,” as you pat down the sides of her bed coverings and she drift off to sleep.
You hate that she was too sick to stay home, but you are very thankful to the medical staff at Millard Fillmore Hospital for giving her the same care she devoted her life giving to others. It never occured to you that one day…the caregiver would need care.