photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hard To Top Last Mother's Day

Last Mother's Day I didn't want flowers or dinner out or jewelry or even a card- I wanted one thing- to come home. To come home with my husband and my son and just be...home.

The Thursday before Mother's Day they discharged Ward- five weeks after a "one week, tops" stay in the hospital that included some very good things, but mostly some spectacularly horrifying things. He was completely worn down physically and mentally. Hell, we all were. Much as we wanted to escape Houston, I decided to stay 2 extra nights in the hotel...just in case. You see, the doctors had strongly advised against taking Ward home- they advised placing him in a nursing home "at least for a while".

He had reached a point in his "recovery" where being hospitalized was not warranted anymore, but he was still quite fragile in all ways.

I couldn't fathom how putting an already weakened and confused man into a completely new and foreign environment would possibly be helpful, so I insisted on bringing him home. It was still scary since he could barely walk, and had huge lapses in memory leftover from his weeks spent in drug-induced delirium and that little coma he had been in.

So we brought him from the hospital to the hotel Thursday afternoon and I wrote this to my friends-

Hey- guess who's right here next to me? In bed. At the hotel.

Ward. Ward Dixon.

What the hell am I doing on the computer? See ya'll tomorrow.

The next day-

*Day One of our Liberation*

Ward requested three things only-

1) to go to the bookstore, even for just a few minutes
2) COFFEE on-demand, all day long
3) never being out of our sight or reach

Check, check, and check.

using the walker to steady him, we also got him a lovely, if short shower- he's a New Man

And later that night, this-

Friday, May 7, 2010
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

When I was a child, I was taken by my mother to Sunday School and church. Every single Sunday. I grew up in the church and believed what I was taught- even turning into a Sunday School teacher myself for a while.

I believed in the Bible. I believed that God was personal, and real, and cared about me and my family as individuals- like Santa Claus he kept an eye on us all and took notes on our progress, our lives, our daily travails.

As I grew older, though, things didn't add up anymore. I had questions.

The questions were readily answered by Those Who Knew Better Than Me, and I believed the answers. Until I had a minute to think about them. Then they generally didn't make a damn bit of sense. Sometimes even less sense than the questions themselves.

Q: Why do newborn babies die? They haven't done anything wrong. Do they just get a minute on earth then an eternity in heaven?
A: It's all a part of God's Plan. Even so short, their lives touch those around them and teach those left behind important lessons.

Q:What about all those people who never get to hear about the story of Jesus? Do they still go to Hell even though it's not their fault they don't know?
A: Yes. Unfortunately they go to Hell. That's why it's so important that we send missionaries everywhere as soon as we can.

Q: Diseases like cancer- alot of those people are good people who never did anything wrong- why should they suffer like they do?
A: No one is without sin. Life is full of opportunities to make ourselves right with the Lord.

Q: So, if Forgiveness and Redemption are given to anyone who truly regrets sinning and accepts Jesus as Savior- any old mass murderer can go to Heaven?
A: Yes. If a person truly accepts the Word- Heaven is theirs.

Q: If God can do anything, why does he let babies die, good people get cancer, and people kill other people in the first place?
A: Free Will- we must endure what comes and go to God of our own free will.

We watch South Park. Yes, it's a cartoon filled with profanity-spewing little children and Kenny always dies at the end of every show by some horrible means.

The writers also generally nail every social issue square on the head- from Gay Rights, to people with disabilities, to Saving the Rainforest, to the meltdown of our Financial Institutions, to any and all religions.

In one show, the parents of Stan are standing at his hospital bedside- comforting him while he endures the physical and emotional insult of having a bleeding hemorrhoid. He asks why alot of very bad people seem to do ok, nay fabulously in life, while people like himself- a pretty good little boy- suffer.

They tell him the story of Job. Sort of a dare-fest between God and Satan. And Job loses. Loses his health, his home, his family. But he never loses faith in God, who is pleased because He doesn't have to pay up to Satan. Stan rightly observes

"That's the worst story I've ever heard".

And decides then and there that there is no God.

I've just witnessed my husband endure trials that make what Job went through look like a day at the circus. For over a month- every time he started to get well BANG- slapped back down by the Fickle Finger of Fate. Over and over and over again.

And much as I love our friends who love us and pray for us and who say "God is so Good- to God go the glory" every time Ward's made progress, I beg to differ.

I know, and am sorry, that they had nothing but prayers of encouragement when he got smacked down by one major surgery, then a week of medically-induced delirium, then another major surgery, then heart failure, then pneumonia- weeks of never-ending issues that were obviously NOT the Glory of God At Work. There were almost palpable pauses of disbelief on their parts- as they grasped for something good to say, some comfort they could offer up to me from God as I watched my husband slip away violently time after time.

I believe there is a Higher Power. I believe there are consequences for how we act in this life and that how we live now will affect our next live(s).

But I believe that Ward is still here- very weak but still kickin', partly because of the medical staff at the hospital, partly because his wife sat at his bedside and told him he was NOT allowed to die and he's as frightened of me as all the hospital staff learned to be, but mainly he's here because he has tremendous will, and phenomenal courage.

Yes. God, or Mother Goddess (which I prefer) or the Higher Power may have gifted his soul with those attributes, but HE used them- HE fought back with more strength than anyone thought he had.

Mother Goddess gave his soul the gifts- he struggled damn hard to use them- to stay longer with me, and his son-

To Ward goes the glory- the admiration and the love.

He is more my hero now than he was before- something I told him the other day in the hospital- still fuzzy and trying to reconcile the loss of over a month of time from his consciousness and the loss of all his strength and muscle and about 30 pounds from his body, depressed and frustrated with them both- and our son looked at us and said "Wow. That's saying ALOT".

Because he has always been, and is even moreso now- My Knight In Shining Armor.

The following morning- Saturday, we packed up, got in the car, and went home.

In time for Mother's day.


  1. Happy Mother's Day and thanks for sharing such a beautiful and inspiring story. I like Mother Goddess too...'j

  2. I love the episode when Chef tells Stan that sad things happen to us so that God "can drink the sweet milk of our tears."