As I hobbled down the hallway today, bent and stumbling after my hard fall this morning, my brat of a secretary called after me, “Bet you’re regretting giving up narcotics now!” And together we laughed. She understands the irony of the situation.
I suddenly remembered my mother’s last couple of months and the pain she experienced. I might have blogged about this here or in another forum, but this recollection flooded back so clearly to me that I’m drawn to recount it again.
In the weeks of her decline before the cancer hit her brain, she noticed me struggling to deal with pain one day during a visit. She lamented my suffering outloud, something she rarely did. It’s okay, I told her. I’m offering it up for you.
She cried out in dismay, startling me. “What is it?” I asked her. Oh, Mary, she sobbed. I’ve been offering MY pain up for you! And she stared at me with horrified eyes set in taught skin beneath the kerchief covering her bald head. Our eyes locked for a few minutes, until I finally asked, softly, Do you think we’re cancelling each other out?
And a smile dawned across her face. Soon two Corley women were giggling as only Corley women can giggle — wildly, without control, fully abandoning ourselves to the hilarity of the moment.
Just as Miranda and I did today.
Whenever I find myself briefly lamenting a choice that I’ve consciously made in this quest to live complaint free, I remember my mother, and her pain, and her willingness to endure that pain because she hoped her bravery would benefit me. I realize my mother’s choice is my choice. I choose to endure, because my endurance might bring some benefit, somewhere, some time, to someone else. If nothing else: an opportunity to laugh at life’s ironies.
It’s as though my mother hovers over me, one of my angels, reminding me of why I made these choices and the rightness of the path that I now walk.