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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Simple Touch. Freely Given.

Several years ago, my mother had sudden and violent vertigo. In just two cruel days, she was unable to write her name or speak without slurring. Doctors tossed around bits of terror...Multiple Sclerosis. Lesion. Giloma.

I was on the East Coast, hearing this all from the phone. Wondering when I needed to get on a plane, mourning the grandchildren I feared she would never meet.

Meanwhile, Mom's best friend, Maril, walked into that hospital room. She rested herself on the foot of my mother's bed. She opened her purse, then removed a tube of creamy lilac lotion.

And as my mother drifted in and out of sleep, she massaged my mother's feet. Simple touch. Freely given.

Mom got better. Simple words, but perhaps the greatest miracle of my life.

And now, my husband's mother is ill. My other mom. 

On Sunday,  she rested on the couch, floating in and out of sensation.  My oldest son massaged her legs.

He's five. He touched with small fingers, used to climb trees and make fortresses of sand. For twenty minutes, his energy ebbed and receded, his little waves of devotion.

"She needs to sleep," he said, "And so I helped her."

Simple touch. Freely given.

This is what we are called to do. This is what matters.

We take care of each other. We give freely.

And we are humbled.

25 comments:

CDG said...

Oh, you awful trickster. You promise me light and airy, and you deliver spare and perfect beauty. Complete with early morning tears.

Children are really quite amazing when we let them be, aren't they?

Galit Breen said...

Oh nancy, this is so very beautiful.

You allow me whispers of glimpses into your heart, what's on your mind.

But here- you laid it bare- care-taking, fixing others' hurts.

Your son? His grace came from you. of that, I am sure.

This was perfect, beautiful.

nacherluver said...

How beautiful. And those four words carry the power of a million.

"simple touch. freely given"

Beautiful.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Beautiful post....I hope your other mother is doing better.

Jenna said...

i love that your response is about touch and example!! what a beautiful perspective, thank you for writing this!

Honest Convo Gal said...

What beautiful examples, both. Touch, freely given to those who need it is an act of grace. Yes, they both demonstrated unconditional love. Lovely post.

Jackie said...

What a beautiful post! So succint and the words poetic, line by line. Touch, so important, so often forgotten.

Ms. Moon said...

Yes.

TKW said...

In tears.

Mel said...

Beautiful and true.

Cheryl said...

Oh, Nancy. So beautifully done. Simple and beautiful.

xo

finallyMom said...

wow... so incredibly beautiful and inspiring.

tsonodablog said...

So very true, and for you to realize this at such a young age shows me the compassion and insight you have. This was beautifully written, as usual. I have tears, but good ones at discovering even more about you as a writer and an amazing human. Your son is you and he's getting all those good things through watching you and feeling your love. I'm very proud of you my friend. You've "simply" touched me from a distance, and I am humbled and grateful.
Terri

Ash said...

My heart. Thank you for being such an incredible mother. And to Daddy too.

Many prayers for your other mother. And hugs for that dear angel.

angela said...

This is so beautiful, both for what is said and what is unsaid. Your son? My heart swells knowing he will be a man in the world one day. And I am glad YOU are here, because he obviously learned the magic of a simple touch from you, because where else does a five year old learn that level of grace?

Amy said...

Beautiful. And worth sharing.

Erin said...

Awww Nancy, I'm so sorry you are going through this, but how beautifully you put it into words, your son, a touch, simple and freely given. Gave me chills!

From Tracie said...

All that giving, it is love in action. The sweetest thing there is.

Paul said...

Very beautiful.

Minivan Lover said...

so sad. so sweet.

Coby said...

Just beautiful simplicity - the writing, the love expressed. Tears are falling.

Kori said...

This is nothing short of stunning, truly. My thoughts are with all of you.

Julie said...

"This is what we are called to do."

Indeed.

And I'm humbled by the beauty of your words.

You give so freely of yourself, here.

I hope this post brings some measure of peace, strength, rest to those in your heart...

Kristy said...

Full of humanity and love. What a precious boy. Love, love, loved this.

Kim said...

I just want to squeeze that kid of yours. What a wonderful child you are raising. Another beautiful, beautiful piece.