March 27, 2005
Happy Easter Birthday

And many, MANY more.

Mom went home from the hospital last Tuesday, less than two weeks after her double lung transplant surgery.

We've talked on the phone nearly every day since she was released.  Sometimes she calls me at the office -- a welcome break from soil density reports and crabby Junior Environmental Engineers griping because the Dirt Company refrigerator "smells funny"   -- while other times she calls the apartment in the evenings after work. The first night she called me at home, David didn't even recognize her voice. 

"I think it's Jaymi," he whispered, one hand clapped over the receiver. Later he said he was confused because her voice sounded so "young." 

My mother and I have spoken more on the phone this past week, I think, than in the past two years put together. At this point I'm still allowing her to initiate the long-distance conversations -- not because I'm too cheap to put the call on *my* nickel, but because I'm terrified that I'm going to call while she's napping and wake her up, and god knows she needs her rest at a time like this -- but she tells me not to worry about that. 

"I've got the next twelve weeks to nap," she says. 

That's how long the recuperation period is supposed to take, I guess: twelve weeks. Of course there will be many weeks (months/years/decades) of support medication and physical therapy and intense medical scrutiny after that, once the official 'recuperation' is over. But for these first twelve weeks, it will be all about laying low and staying quiet and allowing Vince to wait on her hand and foot while things mend.  Fortunately, my mother is one of those people -- like me -- who can always find ways to entertain herself, even during periods of prolonged enforced bed rest. (See: Unfortunate Stoopid Accidental Rib Fracture, Summer 2004.) Books will play a big part in her recuperation, I'm sure. And TV.  And her various scrapbooking projects. And the Internet.  ("The new laptop arrives next week," she says.  Translation: Are you planning to start writing *FootNotes* again, any time soon?)

And when all else fails ... there's always the phone. Which is fine with me. Because if anything makes my winter-weary/rain-weary/Dirt-Company-weary heart soar these days, it is the sound of her strong, calm, cheerful voice on the end of the line.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I love you VERY much! 

  P.S.  Happy Easter, too!

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want to drop her a line while she convalesces?
(i'll bet she responds more quickly than *i* ever do.)