Thursday, May 22, 2008

These Small Hours

One might think that there is a lot of down time in a nursing home and maybe with some residents there is but not with Ada. Her mornings consist of nurses, aides, and therapists coming and going trying to do their best to not only take care of Ada's needs but the family's as well. The afternoons are just as full with physical therapy and getting her up into her fancy chair. The aides in the beginning used a motorized sling to move her but recently they feel confident that a few of us together can lift her out of bed and into the chair. She usually sits up two hours...today we tried out three...she did fine but once back in bed she slept for five hours. Most of us cannot imagine that sitting up in a chair can wear you out but when you have spent twelve weeks in a bed a person loses muscle tone that has to be built back up. Most afternoons or evenings Ada has a visitor or two...so this might give you an idea of Ada's day. This of course is a normal day there are those days when she's out on the town meeting with doctors and on those days unfortunately she might miss needed therapies. But it is not those hours of the day that give me pause it's the quite time before Terry, Archie and Arthy arrive...it's the small hours in the middle of the night when she is left undisturbed to sleep and dream.

It is then that I sit in the darkness not sleeping and knowing I should that I think of Ada and the beautiful person that we all know she is and has become. She usually sleeps very peacefully, sometimes with Care Bear who has been placed in her arms by dad or a young aide who always talks about the Care Bear they had as a baby. Sleep is as important and maybe more so right now than lots of stimulation. There are times during the day that I wonder if she doesn't want everyone to shut up and go away....hopefully one day we will all get an insight as to what she thinks and dreams.
It is in that dark stillness with the sounds of feeding pumps and air purifiers that I think of Ponsawan and all the nights she has sat here with her precious daughter that I shed a few tears. I think of my friend's courage and determination that the Ada who is here is as well cared for and loved as she once was as a newborn in her arms. Thanks to all of you in Thailand that are giving Ponsawan the new memories, warm hugs, and laughter that will help her in the days ahead. When she calls she worries not only of Ada but of me... I asked if she was having a good time and she said, yes. I told her then that is all I need to hear. I am fine Ponsawan and I am humbled by your warm words and your trust.

I will sign off with this verse:
Our lives are made in these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours still remain

Love,
Ardis

2 comments:

Ting said...

My dear Ardis,
Your tender moments during those small hours with Ada have also moved me to tears. Ponsawan's experience has been every mother's worst nightmare, but the way she copes with it has changed our perceptions of motherhood forever.
She was on the beach with friends watching the sun sinking into the velvet water when I spoke to her yesterday. The air around her was filled with laughters -- these friends, our architect classmates, have got a tremendous sense of humour. Ponsawan will be well recreated and fully recharged when she comes back, to continue her long journey.
And you and I and many others who have now been connected tightly by Ada will be with Ponsawan on this journey. No matter how long it takes.
I haven't got Dr Taylor's book, My Stroke of Insight, but I have looked at her website, watched her presentation viedo on TED's TALK. She is extremely inspiring.
The fact that Dr Taylor found out about Ada and initiated a contact with Ponsawan is a miracle in itself.
Thank you Ardis for allowing us into your heart and soul. Thank you for news about Ada and her family.
I hope you stay well and get enough rest. Take care
Ting

Frances said...

Dear Ardis and Ting,

Thank you for the continuous news. The special time you are spending together is precious. It really keeps me going...connect... imagine...

Ting, the fact that Dr. Taylor found out about Ada and contacted Ponsawan is amazing!... What are the different specialties and ways to help from Dr. Taylor and Dr. Jill Bolte from the local Medical School?

Your tenderness and ways to let us go into your souls are our daily bread....Ardis, may you be able to rest to be strong when you are awake and Ting...thanks for connecting with Ponsawan even when she is in Thailand...Best, Frances