Tuesday, February 22, 2005


For some time now, this story has resonated with me. I'm more than familiar with a family member being in a coma. My mother passed away in 2001 from a neurological disease and in 1995, my father died from cancer. Both had been in comatose states before their deaths. I understand the parents in the Schiavo case, I can imagine their refusal to stop hoping. I know I never stopped hoping for a miracle, even in the face of inevitability.

I remember clearly the adjustment to the "new state" of my parents in both instances. On some level, I could have lived with them that way forever. Anything was better than losing them entirely to death. I was happy to continue to talk to them, to look at them, to hold their hands...even if they couldn't give anything back. I just wanted another day.

As a mother, I believe I would be fighting, too, if in my heart of hearts, I saw my child as "alive" with a sliver of a sliver of a chance at change for the better. In my opinion, I believe the husband is wrong and should leave his wife to her parents. Something in me just aches at the thought of fighting for the life of my child as against a spouse. Who are they? They didn't birth this child, they didn't raise the child, they don't love the child like a parent can. I'm reminded of too many other cases where womens' lives have been ended by their husbands/lovers.

Now, the lawyer in me accepts that perhaps all isn't as it appears. I grant that. And if such is the case, I bow out of my position and concede to the spouse.


Off my soap box for now.

In the meantime, today was a quiet day spent grading papers, letting the kids play on the computer. J was home sick...though he did skateboard during the breaks in the rain, his desperately terrible cold apparently in complete remission during those times. Free time is amazingly curative, I suppose. On the other hand, A had a bit of a rough day at school, more inattention, more frustration for the teacher. He's on a second medication for tics (he has a number of them) and it makes him sleepy which compounds his struggle to stay focused on school-oriented tasks. This side effect is supposed to go away after a while. Insert a heavy sigh.

He slept in my bed last night, awakened at two in the morning for some reason. I found him out in the living room watching t.v. He said, "I woke up early."

"This isn't early, honey, it's in the middle of the night."

I had to laugh a little because there I was, squeezed in between A and my husband, both snoring and both using me as a kind of pillow. I was intensely uncomfortable, but I was soothed by a memory of my mother. I remember her telling me that motherhood was defined by discomfort. She used to take care of A when he was a baby - she'd lie down with him for naps and she wouldn't dare move away from him, lest she wake him up, even if he had his little elbows dug into her ribs. She took care of my sister's boy, T, and she'd sit in the rocker for hours while he napped because it was the only way he'd sleep. "He's pinned me," she'd say, happy as a lark, happy to be sweating in the sunlight seeping through the blinds in the livingroom.

So last night, in the midst of discomfort, I found myself happy.


Dave Clapper said...

The memories of your mom with her sleeping grandchildren are great, really moving. There's something about sleeping with your child (or grandchild, I suppose), isn't there? My older son almost always has his legs thrown across my back as I sleep. Is it uncomfortable? Sure. But it's comfortable in a way that nothing else is.

Adriana Bliss said...

Yes, exactly...there's something so sweet in that unique discomfort. How touching the image of your little one with his legs across your back.

narrator said...

After years and years of being single dad, now, sort of on my own (away at college) I miss those very discomforts in a key way. Nice post.

Thanks for your comments. I'll post some more of the Ulysses at Ikea piece at some point (and put it on blogger as well) as I keep editing it. It is though, even in its component parts, very, very long for on-line reading tolerance. I wrote it in wild, sleepless burts during a really bad time last winter, but I do love big chunks of it, as well as the mix of Joyce's concept with a single day of mine. Of course the real sticking point has always been getting the "Penelope" ending right. The woman in question was quite clear that I wasn't even close on my first few attempts, so I keep trying.

Adriana Bliss said...

Yes cannot wait yes such difficulty because in my mind there is yes something there to admire and wonder Yes.

LOL I do look forward to more - I gotta say I'm quite verklempt to have run into Ulysses here in the blogworld. I'm hungry for innards.

rick said...

nothing quite like momma in the family bed. i've stumbled into my room late at nite, and watch as two of my three fit almost perfectly underneath both of my wife's arms... i love that scene, 3 of the 4 people i love most, safe, confident, asleep...