Just before leaving for Houston before Thanksgiving I received an unexpected phone call. I had just left Gabriella’s school “feast” when the cell phone rang. When I answered it was a voice I hadn’t heard in far too long.
I nearly wrecked the car in shock. “Say it again!”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, Mommy!”
I burst into tears. The emotions of the moment overwhelmed me. I laughed and cried and couldn’t stop telling her how much I loved her just so I could hear her tell me that she loved me, too. You can’t know how much it means to hear those words from someone that not only have you not heard them for months, but from your mom who you thought was dying. The woman whose bed you have sat beside and wept and said goodbye and yet still prayed it wasn’t really goodbye.
No one knows what has caused this turn around and no one knows if it is long term. She has gone through a phase where she is more alert and has been more responsive. She is not considered critical anymore. She is off of the ventilator. She is still having dialysis and other procedures, but she is healing. She is still considered serious. And history tells us that at any moment she can turn and go back into the nonresponsiveness again. We hope not, but we know that things are not certain. They never are.
But for now, I was able to talk to her. Really talk to her. Her speech therapist has fitted her with a voice tube that allows her to push air past her treach tube and enable her to speak.
It was her voice. Hers. Not computer sounding or distorted. For the first time since July, I was able to hear my mom tell me she loves me strongly and clearly.
No sweeter words have ever been heard.
When I walked into her hospital room on Thanksgiving, she looked up at me with her beaming smile and said, “Hi sweetheart. I’ve missed you.” If you think that I was able to get any words past my sobbing, you are sadly mistaken. I just dropped my purse and laid my head on her chest and cried. I cried for the miracle that I was able to hear her words. I cried because she has such a long road ahead of her. I cried in joy for this huge step and in fear that it won’t last. I cried because it was my mom and she told me she loved me. I needed that. I think she did too.