I have been struck this week by the loving attentiveness of men toward their mothers. My mother has always downplayed Mother’s Day as a Hallmark invention. (My own children feel that this is the day that I should prove greatness by making them breakfast.)
This year has been a tough one for my Mom-a complicated knee surgery and worsening macular degeneration. She continues to live alone in her dream home that she and Dad built in the 1970’s. My brother looked ahead and decided that a 10 day trip from Arizona to New Hampshire would include Mother’s Day. During our 3 way phone calls together, it is clear that her frustration level is low, the humor is high, and while he is deferential in important matters, he pokes fun when he can. He is walking shoulder to shoulder with her– day in, day out,– during a tough time. What love.
This might not have struck me had I not had daily contact with two men and their mother in the clinical setting. This mom had been living independently but had been found on her bed by visiting nurses and transported to our hospital where it was discovered that she had a hemorrhagic stroke. I met the trio in the intensive care unit. This mom had “woken up” and joked about all the questions people ask, and teased the nurse about not bringing her orange juice. Her goal she told me was to “get out of the hospital and get home”. The two men who had traveled some distance to come back to Iowa were visibly enjoying the feisty exchanges.
During her entire complex hospital stay, her two sons sat at the bedside holding her hand, checking emails, talking to doctors, speaking gently to her. Day in, day out. Their conversations audibly showed their struggle to find their Mom’s voice and values to make loving decisions. Shoulder to shoulder during a tough time.
When a man’s voice breaks talking about his mother, it directly touches my heart. Hope our menfolk know how much we love them back.