View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Mother/diaconate updates

Doctors say my mother came out of the coma, was able to communicate in some limited way (she's deaf, and she has a respirator tube down her throat), then apparently pulled the tube out.

They reinserted the tube. But now they want to know what to do if she does it again.

She left no advanced directives, and she has told no one what her wishes are.

The doctors plan to keep her on the respirator into next week, then to see if she can breathe on her own (albeit, with the air tubes she's had to wear because of her damaged lungs). If she can breathe, great. If not, we have some decisions to make.

I don't know how conscious she is. She chose to undergo treatment in another city more than an hour away.

We are driving there today. I will try to communicate with her.

Meanwhile, my dad (stroke patient in an assisted living facility in yet another town) and my grandmother (in yet another facility in yet another town) are waiting to get news from me (only child - I wish my parents had paid more attention to Church teachings!).

Mom's primary doctor said that if there is a sudden turn for the worse, they would look to me to make a decision.

But the doctor seemed to be suggesting that permanent attachment to a respirator is the most likely outcome at this point.

The doctor also said that mom would have to stay where she is, and not move back to my city, which is nearer to where my father and grandmother are also. She said it's difficult to move a person on a respirator. I'm not sure about that. If the respirator route is the way things go, I'll have to check into moving her because I hate to imagine her alone there with no family around.

I also know that people with her knid of lung damage often don't live long - often their hearts give out from the strain. so moving her may not become an issue at all.

And if she pulls the tube out again and the doctor's call me to ask if they should reinsert it or just let nature take its course, what do is say? I have to see how aware she is.

The sad part in all of this is that our family is so splintered - my mother has been an angry, destructive person for years - I have mixed feelings. Part of me thinks the best thing that could happen for all of us would be for God to take her.

I feel sorry for her as a person who is suffering in this way, and who is so alone, but as my "mother," I feel little love for her.

Obligation is about the best I can manage.

And, of course, she left everything hidden at home. I have to go there this weekend to find the checkbooks for different accounts (there are at least three of them, perhaps four) and the bills, and where she hid her on-hand money, where she hid grandma's money, and where dad hid his money! They were all hiding things from each other.

As for the diaconate, the head of the local program called to see where I was in terms of trying to resolve the impediment. I told him about the situation with my mother.

He said he understood, then added that if the family situation continues and the impediment can't been cleared up this year there was always next year. He said he would pray for me and my family.

At least he's still interested. That's nice.


If I can't deal with my mother's situation with more healthy feelings, what kind of deacon would I be?


Blogger Julie D. said...

If I can't deal with my mother's situation with more healthy feelings, what kind of deacon would I be?

You would be just a regular human deacon ... who is allowed to struggle with his feelings and still be a perfectly good deacon.

My heart goes out to you in your situation ... I'll keep you in my prayers.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Talmida said...


What she said. I'm praying.

4:31 PM  
Blogger CafeCath said...


You and your mother are in my prayers.

12:42 AM  
Blogger ukok said...

I'm so sorry to learn of the difficulties in your life at this time, and the suffering that both you and your family has endured.

For what it's worth, it brings comfort to me that the clergy can relate to the problems that we, the laity endure. So often I have been touched to the core when hearing the 'stories' of those priests/deacons whom I had thought, had no appreciation for what I, or others like me, were experiencing.

I think you'll be great 'because' your not disconnected from your feelings.

Praying for your situation.

God bless.

3:12 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

I agree with Julie. This is the stuff of life, and so it's the stuff that deacons must deal with... and it sounds like you would be very empathetic and kind. You've got a tough patch of road ahead, and I'll remember you and your mom in my prayers.

2:00 PM  
Blogger ShadowMayhem said...

If I can't deal with my mother's situation with more healthy feelings, what kind of deacon would I be?

You would be human! As we all are. We are weak, hurting individuals that are simply seeking God in some way...We see the face of Christ in one another, or rather we should, so too do we show the face of Christ to each other in ways that differ from person to person. I don't know what your relationship has been with your mother, but if there has been some sort of hurt, use the time you have wisely... the hardest thing to do is forgive, ( or atleast thats my hardest thing) but the sweetest words I ever heard from some one were "its ok, your forgiven" it was better then any sacramental absolution. . . sometimes we have to realize that being human is not something we have to forgive ourselves for, rather it is our humanity that makes us able to show the face of Christ to one another and love one another.

8:44 PM  
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7:39 AM  

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