Sunday, April 22, 2012
An Incarnation of Hope
We have a little dogwood tree next to the pasture that delights me every Spring with its beautiful flowers. Last October, when the crazy snowstorm blasted through here, it took down several of our big trees. One of them fell, crushing the dogwood. I was heartbroken every time I looked at the big trunk with the little tree twisted and broken underneath it, and I kept asking my husband if we could buy a new dogwood tree once we had the carcass of the downed tree removed. As the warm weather surprised us earlier than usual, I also noticed that the dogwood branches were sprouting little green leaves. Soon, there were buds and now, there are blossoms. Every time I look at the tree, still pinned under the old dead trunk of the fallen maple, it fills me with hope.
I needed a reminder of hope this week since my mom, who will be 98 years old soon, was rushed to the hospital on Thursday. She was bleeding, and the doctor was very frank about the possible reasons. It could be diverticulitis, which he could treat with antibiotics, or it could be a tumor, which was probably colon cancer. We are lucky that he is a very sensitive, kind doctor and did not want to frighten my mother or do anything that would be in any way invasive. So, he suggested that he would start the antibiotics and she would stay in the hospital while we waited to see if they worked and the bleeding stopped. Needless to say, I had a very anxious time while we waited. Each time I drove in and out of my driveway, I would pass that little dogwood tree trapped under the big dead trunk and seeing its flowers valiantly blooming would give me hope.
I found that the easiest way to calm myself was to go out to the barn and brush Silk. She is still shedding out her long winter coat and loved all the extra attention. This week, Silk will be 24 years old, so as I dragged the shedding blade along her neck and her back, I thought a lot about how I was going to be facing some tough inevitabilities with both my horse and my mother in the near future. I have been blessed to have them both in my life for a long time, anchoring me in ways that I probably won’t truly understand until they are gone. At the same time, I appreciate that they are both tough cookies and are strangely similar in many ways. They have each proven to me over and over that they have great strength and an incredible will to live. Realizing that led me to decide to focus wholeheartedly on believing that everything was going to turn out for the best.
I showed up at the hospital with a bouquet of dogwood and lilac blossoms today and discovered that my mom was doing fine and had just been sent back by ambulance to the nursing home where she lives. I raced over to see her. It was like a party in her room when I got there, with nurses coming in to hug and kiss her and my mother happily eating spaghetti and meatballs for lunch, announcing that she was starving. She was so excited to see the dogwood and the lilacs because they are favorites of hers. Soon, the scent of the flowers filled the air, and once again, I understood the glory of hope.