I got a phone call from my dad at 8:30am and woke up to the words "last night, your mom was admitted to the hospital." WHAT!? The questions poured out of my mouth as I tried to place exactly what my dad was telling me. First of all, my mom had been up at Gwinnett Medical Center visiting my aunt Tracey who has Stage 4 cancer. We've all been praying and worrying about her constantly...but now mom is in the hospital?? My dad explained that she experienced some extreme chest pain the night before (yes my heart was in my throat at that) and that they took her in and discovered that she had 5-7 gallstones that needed to be surgically removed immediately. I was already pulling on jeans and yanking my dog towards the door to take him out before I flew (literally doing 90-100 to the hospital). My thoughts were a whirlwind. What the heck is a gallstone anyway!? I logically explained to myself that it couldn't be too bad, otherwise dad would've been more freaked out and would be flying to the hospital as well (he came later). But I couldn't stop the lump from rising in my throat, or the what ifs from assaulting my thoughts. What if something happens? What if she doesn't wake up? What if my mom...? I can't even finish that statement. I got to the hospital and made a beeline for her room (though dad explained to me that she was probably already in surgery). Room 261. Even just seeing "Thomas" written on the door made my stomach flip. When I cracked open the door, there she was sleeping. Bathed in this blue light, hooked up to machines that were angrily blinking various numbers in the darkened room. Her Carmex that she is never without was on the side table. Next to that, her glasses that she will only wear if they are a flashy color or pattern. I know some of you are thinking that this is dramatic. That gallstones aren't a big deal. Plenty of people have had that surgery. But none of that mattered to me at the time. This is my mom. I made a noise that must've woken her up because she started to sit up while she gave me a cracked greeting. I put on my Meagan face for her. The one that's confident, witty, a little sarcastic and not the least bit worried. She told me how the night transpired and the nurse came in to get mom ready for surgery. My brother arrived shortly after. Wearing his Matt face. The one that's calm, relaxed, and comforting without being too concerned. We were great actors. Finally, another male nurse came to wheel mom down to surgery. We said a prayer together, kissed and hugged her and then she was gone. As everyone expected, the surgery went perfectly and mom was cleared to go home late that same evening. However, as I sat here yesterday afternoon finishing up the editing of a newborn shoot I just shot with Jessica and Kyle, I found myself thinking about moms in general. From the time each of us are born, there is so much preparation done. So much love lavished. While the dads do a lot, there is just something amazing and unique that each of us feels for our mom. Some of us have lost touch with them. Some of us had moms who didn't make very good decisions. I know that I'm one of the lucky ones to have my mom. I also know that I really don't show her how thankful I am for who she was when she was 25 and had me, and who she is now-25 years later. Mom, I love you. I love that you have such a huge heart for people in need. I love that you work with everything you have for your kids at school. I love that you instilled a love for God and people in me. I love that you know how to make my favorite pancakes. I love taking spontaneous trips that include bottomless mimosas and giant ants with you. I love that you always surprise me with how much thought goes into the gifts you've given me through the years. I love that you used to make the rainbows dance in the dining room. I love that you want me to sit next to you at church because you enjoy worshiping together. I love shopping with you. I love that you always tell me the truth. I love that you forgive me in moments when my pride and arrogance get in the way. I love talking to you, listening to you and being with you. Most of all, I love who you are and who you've created me to be. Now, everyone reading this...go call your mom!
Photo credit: Kelly Lewis with Kelly Is Nice (www.kellyisnice.com)