with my mother-in-law visiting with St. Alexius

by jhon baker

Hanging out at a hospital has never been my idea of a good time. I am sure that there are people who enjoy it or at least enjoy the ability to be waited on. I am not one of those people and my mother-in-law isn’t either. But here I sit while she goes through the procedures that many of has have been through many times. I’ve nothing more important to do I tell her when she feels bad about me neglecting the construction of my new writing space, neglecting the construction of my friends house, allowing my house to get messy, allowing the cats to shift for themselves while stopping by to make sure they are all fed and alive. I can’t imagine thinking something is more important than sitting here and doing virtually nothing.

When she seized immediately following dinner on the one year commemoration of her husbands death and birthday, she grabbed her neck and listed to her right – I called 911, finding that my fingers instinctively knew where each button was having never dialed it in an emergency before (it was always being dialed for me), lowering her body to the ground and supporting her head while petting her head, talking to her gently and assuring her everything would be alright – a promise I thought would not be kept. At the moment when I thought I had lost her my heart broke in a way I had never expected, I didn’t realize how close I had become to my wife’s mother over the years since my own accident that left me in her care eight hours a day  – five days a week. I know her deeply and have many of her secrets, while she has many of mine. Needless to state, I was not ready to let her go and thankfully she wasn’t ready to let go either.

She awoke the next morning and spoke as well as she had been (she has expressive aphasia), she returned mostly to normal and we learned that there were things that would have to change, every hospital visit results in a change to the accepted lifestyle, while largely learning how much we all needed her to come home and continue to live in the little house we bought for her.


A storm is now outside raging and will be over soon. It is more interesting to watch them from the couch inside your own domicile than to experience them from the discomfort of hospital chairs with hospital smells and the serious lack of naked attractive people walking around not to mention much the terrible lack of a proper cup of coffee.


the room window overlooks a lower floor’s roof, number 263 of the strangest things I’ve experienced is a Radio Flyer Wagon sitting, ready to carry children or groceries, on top of this same roof.



2 Comments to “with my mother-in-law visiting with St. Alexius”

  1. there is a beautiful feeling I walk away with from reading this..when we fear losing a loved one something shifts inside us, not breaking, but widening to allow the love a place to flow..your love flowed to her and she grabbed it..

    praises she is on the mend and now you can go back to construction of words, rooms, house and litter boxes.

  2. Ocassionly things happend that stop us dead still in our tracks. Everything else in our lives is put on the back burner. Some people can’t let themselves deal with the reality of what happening at the moment. it’s too big or scary for them. It’s a great thing that you can. What you are doing at this moment was good and showed how much you care. You are good guy Jhon. The type of person I’d want in my foxhole…

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