A Mother and Child connection: Hold my Hand

“Hold my Hand”

I never intended to write about what’s going on with my mother or the way that her illness has affected our family. However, after sitting today with Mother in a room of strangers hooked to IV drips with cancer-fighting drugs, privacy is not valued over connecting with others.

Recently, I had a touching moment with Mother and it dredged up an old memory where as a child, I stood with her on a busy city corner as buses lumbered past, cars zoomed by, and sharp blasts from a whistle punctuated the air as a police officer directed traffic.

“Hold my hand,” Mother said to me.

I was too mesmerized by the world around me to pay much attention to her. You see, I grew up on military bases and going to town was like going to the circus. In my child’s mind, buses loomed as large as elephants and cars zipped by in all shapes and sizes like the colorful parade under a Big Top tent.

“Hold my hand,” Mother said again, then bent to grasp my hand firmly in hers. After a long and loud whistle blast, she said, “Let’s walk together.”

After we stepped off the curb, I tugged her hand, pulling on her to walk faster to the other side. Our joined hands almost slipped apart.

“Keep a hold of my hand,” Mother scolded.

When we were in the middle of the crosswalk, Mother jerked my hand and yanked me close. The hard tug startled me and grabbed my attention. She protected me from sudden danger as a car sped by. That was the moment I first understood that life came with real jeopardy.

The memory is indelibly etched in my mind. I am able to recall the events and even describe what I wore that day, the weather, and the smell and sounds of things around me. (My husband will tell you I have the memory of an elephant, which is a curse and a blessing, but that’s a story for another time.)

The childhood memory surfaced a few days ago when I went to the office supply store with my parents. Dad drove Mother and me there after we left from her radiation treatment. Mother said she wanted some exercise and walking might make her feel better, so Dad parked in the first open parking spot and let us “girls” walk to the store to shop.

In ninety-five degree Florida heat with seventy percent humidity – in other words, Mother Nature’s sauna – Mother and I walked past four parked cars to arrive at the street in front of the store. Given the heat and the liquid air, I was concerned with Mother’s breathing; emphysema has taken control of her life, along with lung cancer. We waited for a car to pass before continuing our trek.

“Hold my hand,” Mother said, though it was more of a question. She slid her trembling hand into mine. I squeezed gently and held firmly to hers. I wished that I could do for her what she had done for me – protect her from sudden danger – or at least protect her from the damaging side effects of chemo and radiation treatments.

It seems the best I can do, for now, is to hold her hand.

I hope you will reach out and hold someone’s hand.

~ Linda Joyce

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About Linda Joyce

Writing is a curious journey. You don't pick it, it picks you. See my website at www.Linda-Joyce.com to learn more about me.
This entry was posted in Authentic Living, Cancer, Family, Learning, Life, Soul Work, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to A Mother and Child connection: Hold my Hand

  1. G. Aliceson says:

    As always, the quality of your character comes out in your writing. Someone like you will always have people wanting to hold your hand.

  2. Your words made me cry and touched my heart. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy and underwent months of chemo. Three months into my treatment, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. I went with her to her radiation treatments so we made sure to schedule them on days I wasn’t having chemo. My mother passed away five months after diagnosis because she lost the will to fight. I planned my mother’s funeral and stood beside her grave while I was still bald and I remember the January air was so cold on my bare head. But the last two weeks of her life have become one of my life’s treasured memories, when it was just her and me, in her hospital room. I held her hand and sang the same songs she’d sang to me when I was a little girl. I was still doing that as she passed. It was my honor to be there at that amazing moment.

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Gloria,

      You have made my cry. I am very happy that you recovered from breast cancer. You are a living example of how to live a meaningful life. I can hear in your words how much you loved your mother and how special that time with her was. I know she was blessed by you. Those who know you are blessed by your smile and loving heart.

      Smiles,

      Linda Joyce

  3. janeygoude says:

    What a sweet story. Thank you for laying down privacy in favor of connecting and reminding me of what is truly important.

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Janey,

      I feel like I’m in some sort of accelerated class. I’m leaning much from those around my mother. A smile is silver, a touch- gold.

      Thanks you for your words.

      Smiles,

      Linda Joyce

  4. Cathy Hsieh says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I was touched. What a gift it is for both of you to be with each other now.

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Cathy,

      Moving back to the south to be closer to family was the plan. I just had no idea the weight if that decision. Thank you for your kindness.
      ~Linda Joyce

  5. Pamela Mason says:

    I can’t say anything more.
    … lump in my throat.

  6. Theresa Hupp says:

    The best you can do is hold her hand. Thank you for sharing this, Linda.
    All my best to you and your family. Theresa

  7. Karen La Rue says:

    Thank you Linda—as always your words are perfect!
    Peace as you continue in your accelerated class….
    Love,
    Karen

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