I’m a little ahead of the game, but life has thrown a couple of curve balls at me this week and I wanted to get this post ready early. Just in case. As I write this, I am on day six of hanging out at the hospital with my 86 year-old mother.  It’s been a rough winter for Mom. She lives in central Illinois, so she has been essentially trapped in the house by ice, snow, and polar vortices.  She’s battled bronchitis and pneumonia, a bout with the flu, and the general ennui brought on by long, dark nights and little to do.

All winter long my siblings and I have fretted over her. We’ve discussed and debated the best ways to meet her needs while preserving as much of the autonomy and dignity she deserves. It isn’t easy. Particular with me living over 500 miles from the place we all call home.

This last hospital stay started out with an acute issue that faded into a precaution by the time I climbed into my car and made the nine hour drive last week. Running tag teams with my siblings, nieces and nephews, we chatted and entertained her through the long hospital weekend. Then on Monday, as I was about to leave to head south again, she suffered a stroke.

Thankfully she will recover. She’s better day by day. And though she has spent much of the last few days scowling at me and arguing over the steps necessary to keep her safe and whole, I’m glad I came and so happy I stayed.

At face value I would say this is not my first choice on how to spend a week’s vacation, but if I look at it from the flipside, I just got to spend more time with my mom than I have in the last twelve years.  I am a lucky girl.

How about you? Ever make a choice you didn’t want to make, but wound up feeling grateful you did?