Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Circle of Life

"Mom, will you help me put my underwear on?"

My mom cam around the corner of the hospital room, and stepped into the little bathroom where I had been struggling in vain to put my own underwear on.  I could neither lift my legs high enough, nor bend over far enough to get the job done.  This time there was no nurse around to help me do it, but my mom was.

As we struggled together, I laughed a little and said, "Well, I guess it's been a while since you've done this for me." 

Later that same day I wanted to take a shower.  I hobbled my way slowly to the bathroom, and my mom helped me begin the process.  I thought I could do the actual washing on my own.  Things were going pretty well, all things considered, until I tried to wash my hair.  It hurt too much to lift my arms up, stretching and pulling parts of my body that still did not want to be stretched and pulled.

"Mom?  Will you wash my hair for me, please?"

I laughed again, and made some comment about how it had been some 25 years since she had washed my hair for me.

I came home from the hospital and my mom stayed for a few days.  She made me sandwiches and brought me juice.  I listened to her reading to my girls, playing with them, scolding them for fighting.  I was glad that if I couldn't do those things for them, my mother was there to do it for me.  I realized that even though Hallie and Hanna put on their own underwear and get themselves dressed now, there may be a day in the future sometime when one of them will need me to help do those things again.

My mom bathed me and dressed me when I was a little girl.  She did it again for me when I was grown and unable.  She did it for my girls when they needed her.  Someday, her body may weaken and she may need me to do things like that for her then.  I hope that I will be able to be there for her when she needs me.  Someday I hope to be able to do these things for my girls again, and their own babies too.

Those are the times when it feels really special to be a woman and a mother.  This cycle of caring for each other, in our weakest times, building each other up to be strong again, it feels beautiful.

I don't know, it just feels like the circle of life.

I love you, Mom.  Thank you for taking such good care of me and my girls when I couldn't take care of anyone but Hazel.

(I realize that men need taking care of at times in their lives as well, but today is Mother's Day.)


  1. Beautiful. I actually had to have Mom help me go to the bathroom after one of my babies when I still wasn't strong enough to do it all by myself. This also made me think of Mom helping her mom near the end, cutting her toe nails and washing her hair, I think. It is a beautiful circle of life, a circle of love.