Good day mother

I have been following the last few days of NPR’s Scott Simons twitter posts because they seemed remarkable. If you have not, his ailing mother has been in a Chicago hospital, dying. These are some of his posts.

“I see dawn coming in sky and want to hold it back to keep my mother from what’s ahead–to keep my mother, period.”
“A thought tonight for all who are in pain. We must be stronger than our fears.”
“If we only truly realized how little time we have…”
“By request, my ICU bed. Hermes orange, my mother notes. Note functional nightstand, too:”
“Derek, mother’s kind & wise nurse, says “Get some sleep. Mothers like to see sons sleep.” But I hold her hand while I can.”
“When my mother woke briefly I sang her My Best Girl. She replied w/ You Are the Sunshine of My Life. Broadway in the ICU.”
“ICU seems to be staffed by good, smart young docs who think they know everything, and wise RN’s who really do.”
“I just realized: she once had to let me go into the big wide world. Now I have to let her go the same way.”
“City is cool, bright, & lovely this morning. My mother touches a splash of sunlight w/ her fingers. “Hello, Chicago!”
“Just spent 45 mins looking for mother’ favorite dental floss. Waste of time? Act of faith.”
“I am not sure my mother understands Twitter or why I tell her millions of people love her–but she says she’s very touched.”
“I think she wants me to pass along a couple of pieces of advice, ASAP. One: reach out to someone who seems lonely today. And: listen to people in their 80’s. They have looked across the street at death for a decade. They know what’s vital.”
“Oh, and: Oh earth, you’re too wonderful for anyone to realize you. It goes too quickly.”
“Journos who say they’re hard-boiled cause they see so much should know ICU nurses see more in a week. And come out kind.”
“My mother now wakes only to be gracious. “Is Reggie or Don on-duty? They’re both such exquisite gentlemen.” (and they are)”
“Mother groans w/ pleasure–over flossing. “When they mention great little things in life, they usually forget flossing.””
“Breathing hard now. She sleeps, opens eyes a minute, sleeps. I sing, “I’ll always be there, as frightened as you,” to her.”
“My family has landed! ICU nurse works on mother’s hair, using makeup mirror. Almost falls. Mother: “Don’t let that break!”
“-you med people keep it down?”) Tell my mother I’ll see my wife downstairs, back in 10. Mother says, “Have a quickie!”
“I love holding my mother’s hand. Haven’t held it like this since I was 9. Why did I stop? I thought it unmanly? What crap.”
“Thought that my mother won’t get another glimpse of the city she loves is unbearable. My wife, from France, points out–”
“”She is seeing Chicago in the faces of the loving, tough, & kind souls working so hard for her in the ICU.” She’s right.”
“Wish clever minds that invented the Space Shuttle or Roomba could devise an oxygen mask that doesn’t slip every 20 mins.”
“In middle of nights like this, my knees shake as if there’s an earthquake. I hold my mother’s arm for strength–still.”
“Mother cries Help Me at 2;30. Been holding her like a baby since. She’s asleep now. All I can do is hold on to her.”
“Can’t hold my mother like a baby indefinitely–have to use the bathroom. My wife coming over w/ my mother’s husband.”
“Her passing might come any moment, or in an hour, or not for a day. Nurses saying hearing is last sense to go so I sing & joke.”
“When she asked for my help last night, we locked eyes. She calmed down. A look of love that surpasses understanding.”
“Listening to Nat & Natalie sing Unforgettable. Mother & I sang it just two nights ago. Coles have better voices for sure.”
“I know end might be near as this is only day of my adulthood I’ve seen my mother and she hasn’t asked, “Why that shirt?”
“I think I can safely reveal now that last night we snuck a dram of “grape juice” to my mother. Nurses shocked, shocked!”
“Heart rate dropping. Heart dropping.”
“The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia Lyons Simon Newman has stepped onstage.”
“She will make the face of heaven shine so fine that all the world will be in love with night.”


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