For me a date that lives in infamy is May 23, 2001. 16 years ago today.
On that day my mom went in for a heart catheterization. She had had a few mild heart attacks the weekend before and they needed to address the issues. My mom had had lupus and had been on prednisone for over 25 years and I don't know that the heart surgeon had noticed that when looking at her history or maybe he knew but decided to still risk the procedure despite her brittle blood vessels. The stint went through her blood vessel and they lost her for 10 minutes and worked on her for 30 minutes to bring her back. Not long afterwards she had a stroke and she spent the next several weeks in and out of ICUs before being stable enough to be transferred to a nursing home where she spent the rest of her life.
I came across some pictures the other day, pictures of that season, that season I don't like to remember.
I love remembering my mom like this:
It's hard to see pictures like this, when she first got transferred to the senior living facility in August.
My mom loved being a grandma and, though I prefer the pictures of her from the times she snuck down to TN to snuggle that Caleb...
Most of the time she spent with Caleb was while she was in a hospital bed on Sunday afternoons after church when we would go and spend the afternoon with her for all those months that she was in the nursing home. I used to hate these pictures because I don't want to remember mom that way but as I came across them I realize that I am so glad I have these pictures of my parents enjoying Caleb during a visit.
The summer of 2002 we were able to bring her to my grandparent's backyard a few times for picnics and, even though she couldn't eat (she could never pass a swallow test), she enjoyed watching people, especially Caleb splashing in the pool.
I may or may not have snuck her a taste of that whipped cream.
I wish I could find a copy of the picture from October when we had Hannah's baby dedication at church. Glenn's mom and grandma had come out for a wedding so Caleb had 5 grandmas at church that day and he just kept turning around and saying, "Grandma? Grandma? Grandma? Grandma? Grandma?" There's a picture of mom "holding" baby Hannah that I may stick in here someday if I find it.
I used to hate these pictures because they were so painful but, looking at them today, I am so thankful that I have them and I'm putting them here because I want a record of this season. Yes, it was an incredibly painful season of my life for so many reasons and I have so many regrets from that season and it still hurts to see mom all curled up like that remembering her limitations and I miss my parents terribly but God has taught me so much both during that season and since, as a result of it.
Though I sure miss and long for wisdom from this lady that visited us for Easter not too long before...
I'm glad I had the chance to live nearby and have time with this version of her for about 19 months.
Yes, May 23 is a day that lives in infamy for me but He is good and does good and I can trust that He knows best, even in giving us infamous days, because He uses them for His glory and our good and I am grateful.