96: Go Home and See Your Mother

96: Go Home and See Your Mother

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom

Go Home and See Your Mother

There’s nothing more vital to the bond you share with someone than simply being there for them.

~Suman Rai

During the first week of September 1992, I had a dream that Jesus spoke to me. In my dream, Jesus said very firmly, “Go home and see your mother.” I was so startled, it woke me up.

When I got up the next morning, I packed a suitcase and called Mom to tell her I would be home for the Labor Day weekend. I planned it as a spur-of-the-moment weekend for just the two of us to spend time together, although I had a feeling of unease about that dream.

When I arrived late Friday, all was right with the world. Mom and I went out to dinner and visited with friends at the Elks Club. It was a wonderful evening. The next day, we went shopping and ended up at an estate sale. We laughed as we picked through all the bargain items for sale, especially when Mom picked up a statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Heart. Mom was an avid devotee of Our Lady, and her rosary was always at hand. The poor statue had seen better days, though, and really should have been discarded. Mom insisted she was buying it for me to repair, as she never could pass up anything that had to do with Our Lady. I fell into peals of giggles over that one. It hardly had any paint left on it, and it had no nose. But it would become one of the most precious gifts my mother ever gave me.

The following day, as we were getting ready for Mass, Mom was suddenly overwhelmed with a terrible fit of vomiting. I called the ambulance against her wishes, and it was good I was there, because the following day, in the hospital, Mom suffered a stroke that destroyed her eyesight. The next day, an abdominal aneurysm almost killed her. Following surgery for that, she suffered blood clots in both legs and more surgery. By the time this cascading medical crisis had concluded, Mom went from a healthy, vibrant woman to being blind and a double-amputee.

When Mom went to rehab for prostheses, they said she would never walk again. They were wrong. Mom worked doggedly to overcome this challenge and she did learn to walk again. While she was in rehab, she met a young man who had lost his leg in a farming accident. Jeff was despondent and angry at the world. No one could make him hope and believe he still had a wonderful life to live. No one, that is, except my mom. She was relentless in making him go to therapy, challenging him at every turn. She refused to be put off by his angry responses.

On the day I went to pick her up from rehab, a young, handsome man came running down the hall to wish us goodbye and tell Mom how much he loved her. That young man was Jeff. With joy, he exclaimed how Mom was the best running partner he had ever had. She was a seventy-one-year-old who could not be beat, and refused to let him give up either.

Four years later, Mom got breast cancer and lost her last fight. But her can-do spirit lives on . . . in Jeff and the lives of many others Mom met along the way. If I had not obeyed the dream I had, Mother would never have survived that stroke, as she lived alone. I’m so grateful for that special dream that put me in the right place to save her and give her four more years and to touch so many lives.

~Christine Trollinger

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