It was a nice morning. I woke up probably around 9 am. He probably already watched something on my tablet – usually in such a situation I found him on days off, just after waking up. Soon after, we made love – a Saturday habit. After this pleasure, it was time for another one – a delicious breakfast – scrambled eggs with tomatoes and onions on fresh rolls with butter – no one did it like him! An absolute champion! The kitchen smelled, the water for his coffee and my tea slowly boiled in a kettle – we sat at the table and began to eat. Traditional, nice Saturday morning. I don’t remember if we had a plan for later. Probably not. Maybe he had to learn – always had to learn something. I didn’t have to. I would probably go to finish the night’s sleep – another tradition on a day off – wake up, eat, go back to sleep. Only after that it was possible to enter the day in full swing.
During breakfast the phone rang – it was my phone. Unknown number. I immediately thought that there were probably some golden pots to pick up at the other end of Poland. If not gold pots, then probably debt collection – „am I talking to Ms. Debt?” – „No, and you won’t find her at this number.”, Then hang up quickly. I didn’t want to answer. „Answer. Maybe it’s something important. You don’t know who’s calling,” ordered my never defying, demanding brain.
-Good morning. Do I speak to you, her daughter? – Asked the woman in the receiver, her voice was hardly audible, something interrupted, the speech was longer, but I quote only as much as I understood and how much I remember today.
-Yes, it’s me. – I answered.
– My name is X, I am your mother’s boss and friend, I found your number in her phone, diminutive, because she always said that about you, that’s why I diminish it so, I’m sorry.
– Good, but did something happen? I asked when he was standing in front of me pouring coffee.
-Your mother is in the hospital, she had a stroke, she is in a critical condition. Here came the end of a traditional, nice Saturday morning. Here came shock, anger, despair and tears.
-What?! How is that ?! Where is she in which hospital?
Here were brief explanations of how it happened, information that my mother had been in the hospital since yesterday evening and where this hospital is exactly. We were already in the room with my boyfriend, he wrote the address on a piece of paper and started the map on the tablet. In a conversation with my mother’s boss and friend, the sentence appeared: „I think you should come”. I thought so too. Bus? Train? Today? Tomorrow? Me in the north, she – in central Poland. I had no idea. I finished the conversation. He asked what happened, I told him. „We’re going. I’ll just wash.” Phew …
I ran to the kitchen to clean up and make the boy another coffee. I wanted to expostulate God for all the lies that he pushes people – heal, release, happiness and success, so I bawled him out – what it is supposed to be, that he makes balls of people, people believe in such nonsense, and then they are in a critical condition hospital, barely over 50 years old. I was so angry, so bad that I didn’t count on any words. I knew what my mother believed that she was going to a Bible school, that she was putting her hands on people and praying for healing, that she was reading the Bible, that she had been saying for several years: „Only now I know God.”
She had been converted for almost 30 years, and as if she did not understand the meaning of this fact for most of this time. I was fe dup.
I didn’t want to hear it, I closed her mouth for good on each talk with me about God a year earlier.
I was never willing to talk to her, but in the end I achieved my goal – she stopped talking about it at all. Hurray! I was free. I believed in God myself, although I had no idea how to approach Him.
Sometimes I was tempted by my boyfriend’s atheism, I liked that he did not believe in God, because at least no one fucked me above my head what I can, I can’t, and how sorry God is and how holy he is. My boyfriend knew that I believed, but he had it somewhere, because it did not affect our life in any way. He understood that I would tell our future child that I believe in God and encourage them to look for him.
But at the same time it would know that dad does not believe and it must someday choose which option convinces hi mor her more. Freedom, equality, tolerance. Ponies and glitter. Faith in God without God and scientist – atheist. The wet dream of the world, where „nothing is so simple”, „nothing is what it seems”, where almost everything is gray and you never know so completely. Exactly – it’s not known to the end, but after all it is. Erich Fromm on the shelf, antidepressants in the cabinet and I „arranged my life”. But why was I still so unhappy and I lacked everything?
After an hour we started from the north. After another 5 hours we were at the hospital. He was looking for a place to park, I flew to look for my mother. Neurological department, stroke treatment unit. I come in, I look around – the first glass, the nurses station, the second glass – it is! Mom! I accelerate my pace, enter the room, put everything I have on the floor, hold her hand, say quietly: „Mom, mommy”, shake her hand like never before, look at her face, I don’t believe what I see , it clogs me … Unfortunately, I have strong contact with reality. On the other side of the bed is my mother’s boss and friend, she walks up to me, stands behind me, embraces me tightly by the shoulders and says: „do not be afraid, everything is under control, the matter is devoted to God, everything will be fine.” Really?
It wasn’t something I wanted to hear at the time. I was 25 at the time, and in 26 days in a few days. I felt like a child even though I was an adult. I had a job, secondary education, I lived with my boyfriend in a rented room, I started earning enough a few months earlier that I stopped taking money from my mother, I dreamed of getting married, children, studying, fulfillment, friends and a nice view from the window. At that time I had 2 stays in psychiatric hospitals, 2 suicide attempts (my mother saved me from the third, although she never found out about it, she was just in the right place at the right time, and it was my 23rd birthday), I took antidepressants for over 1.5 years and I finally wanted to grab a god by the legs and feel happy. I wanted to have what others have, feel adequate, feel valuable, meet the real and imaginary expectations of others towards me and finally breathe a sigh of relief. Well, the only condition to achieve these goals was that everything would go my way. My plan is my castle. It was supposed to be good and it turned out … Better.
In all the emotions that accompanied me when I was standing over my mother’s bed, and her friend’s hands were holding my arms tightly, there was something that did not allow me to accept her words with calmness – a child’s frustration caused by the fact that it is not like in my opinion it should be. There was only one answer in my head: „fuck off.” I was offended by what she said. By what right did she say such things to a person who is just losing her mother? I couldn’t sort it out, so I ignored it. Actually, the situation with this woman became clear to me only now – when I began to describe it. I remembered this event in itself, even the fact that I was snagging somewhere inside, but I always assumed that she said something wrong and did not analyze it deeper.
So it wasn’t something I wanted to hear. It did not suit my vision of the world, but also my mental level at the time.
It is worth adding at this point that shortly after we left the city with my boyfriend, I apologized to God for my earlier words addressed to Him. Not because I was afraid that he would not help my mother or me – but because I felt that I had acted unfairly towards him. I said that I don’t know what he really is, who he really is, what his will is, how he works, so I decided to give him justice and admit that I judged him very hastily and unfair. Did I do it because I felt sorry for Him or felt His anger? No. I did it because I was convinced that I had done the wrong thing. By the way, I asked him to be with my mother and help her.
When I entered my mother’s room, she was still breathing. She was unconscious, but she showed some reactions, I saw her move her eyes under her eyelids, sometimes her arm or leg „jumped”. It was difficult to assess to what extent anything that was happening to her depended on her, but one could not deny the simple observation that whenever something important or significant on an emotional level happened, the reactions that I described above intensified.
When I called my sister in a distant country where she lives to tell her that I was there, next to my mother, I asked her if she would like to say something to our mother over the phone – she wanted, so I put my handset in my ear and she she told her – then my mother „moved” a lot more, took a few deep breaths and moved her eyes a lot. This was probably also when I came to her, although I don’t remember it exactly – then the tubes, apparatus and mother who did not look like my mother caught my eye …
One of the things I remembered from this first meeting was my declaration of love for my mother, whom she had not heard from me for several years. Already coming to her I felt that something was changing in my heart. As if suddenly I started to understand something that had been following me since around July. It was now the end of October.
About two years earlier, when I was renting a flat with a woman, I entered her room one day and announced that I didn’t love my mother, that I didn’t wish her badly, that I wanted to respect her, that I never wanted to leave her in need, but I didn’t love her. The woman was slightly surprised, but after my brief explanations she respected my confession and stated that I had the full right to do so.
I also confessed it to my boyfriend, who, although he also respected it, said that it was sad, and I lived the next two years, convinced that I did not love my own mother and, once again, thinking that thanks to this I am free and thanks to freedom I could let that thought happen to me. Freedom is my castle – that’s how it looked like back then.
After two years, however, various questions began to come to me, as if my mind had said that something was wrong with him, that the cogs in my brain stopped meshing. These questions arose in the mind at the initiative of the heart. „Or maybe you still love your mother?” „Maybe love is something other than what you imagine it to be?” etc. No, no, no, it’s impossible. I didn’t think about it at all, it doesn’t make sense. My conviction about my lack of love for my mother did not come out of nowhere, and these stupid questions are an attempt to reconcile me with the world, made by my weak character! Oh! Besides, I don’t want my mother bad, so what’s the problem? I try to respect her and I will never leave her in need – I’m clean, I’m fine, I’m OK. Well, but …
„I love you, mother, I love you, mommy. Come back to us and don’t worry about anything – I will look after you.” It was amazing for me that I knew that if my mother woke up, then no matter what state she was in, I would stay in the city where she lived to look after her, support her, motivate her, protect her from bad thoughts. I will find a job there and it will be okay – I manage in the north, I can manage in central Poland, finally I come from the south! I didn’t even care about the relationship that was threatening me at the time – I found that love is a decision to be with someone for good and for bad, and he can also move.
Actually, I didn’t think about it at all. I wanted to do what would be right at that moment – and the desire to help my mother recover and SHOW HER MY LOVE TO HER, now was at the first place in my life.
Already in the car I started to fit these puzzles. Just because I don’t go shopping with my mother, I don’t talk to her on the phone every day, I don’t tell her everything about myself, and even because I feel sorry for her doesn’t mean I don’t love her. I love her – someone lied to me !! I am very grateful that I could tell her when she was still breathing and reacting, when there was a chance she heard. I believe that she enjoyed it. That she needed it, that she missed it.
She didn’t breathe after an hour. She stopped when I was sitting in the doctor’s office, where „I was filled with hope.” It was considered a miracle that she had not yet died. The lady showed me a tomography of her brain, taken when she came to the hospital – a very large area with something visible there, I learned that this something is not visible on the tomography for the first few hours after the onset of the stroke … This is when her stroke did it start? Why didn’t he give any typical symptoms? Who would vomit a stroke because of vomiting?
„Chances are small, you have to prepare for the worst.” After this sentence, the phone rang and the doctor answered. „Well, your mother’s saturation is falling.” I entered the room again after an hour, when my mother was no longer breathing, did not react, when the respirator was breathing behind her, and she was waiting for a place at the ICU.
We had an overnight stay with my friends, an hour’s drive from the city where my mother lived. One of the four places we slept for the next two weeks. It was cool to see friends whom I had not seen for several years, and who were actually more friends of my sister and mother than mine. The nicest thing for me was that they knew my mother. One day my mother’s friend asks me if I would like to go to a church service tomorrow, where my mother attended – there is a school at this congregation, so he goes too, his mother’s friends will be there, etc.
One part of me wanted to go there, the other embarrassed and laughed at him, because how? Atheist and non-practitioner? Why are we going there?
In the morning my attitude towards going to church changed. I decided that we would go there, but only after visiting my mother, because I need to know how she was doing. So we went to the hospital and then to the service – my boyfriend came with me and had no problem with it.
We were late about half an hour, worship continued, we were sitting somewhere in the back and did not participate in it. Although I, who liked to sing and used to sing „for the glory of the Lord”, I was humming under my breath, because it calmed me down.
Then a lady gave a teaching – teaching about what love is. „I may not even like you, but I love you because I decide so and I choose.” She confirmed everything that was in my heart about it.
At the end of the service, it was possible to approach two women at the back of the room who were praying for those who needed it. Once my mother served this way. I approached them asking for prayer for wisdom for me, that I would be able to accept this whole situation well, let me know what to do, what to say and how to approach it wisely. They prayed for me, I talked to one of them, we sat down together.
My boyfriend was sitting in the lobby, where people stayed after the service to spend time with each other over tea and cakes. I asked, „What if God’s will is for my mother to die?” It was a point where I got stuck many years ago. My mind could not stand this absurdity – „God is love”, „Let us pray for healing”, „God is God of freedom and gave us free will” vs. „God gives and receives”, „God sends sickness to experience us”, „God took him because he wanted to have him at home”. „God is a sovereign God, so He decides who heals and who doesn’t.” „How can you not get pissed off and blame God and the church,” I thought.
„Premature death, illness, death in sickness are never God’s will,” I heard. Aaaahaaa … So it makes sense. At that moment, I needed theoretical understanding to go further and, above all, to feel calm and trust as much as was necessary to be able to accept Jesus as my personal Savior and accept forgiveness of my sins. Something let go of me, as if with these words someone pulled the cotter pin out of the strongly blocked place in my heart and in the place of mustiness and stench, let life there. I became God’s child, a spiritual Israelite and
I am saved.
„I have just converted,” I said to my boyfriend with a smile on my face.
„Cool ” he answered calmly.
(After two months, I didn’t have a boyfriend anymore. There was no place for me anymore – the way I became. He wanted the old me, but the old one is gone. I didn’t want the old one – we lived in two different worlds.)
The night after conversion I slept longer, deeply and peacefully. He rolled from side to side and hardly slept at all.
– What if your mother dies? he asked in the car.
– Nothing. I will continue to believe.
I just knew it would be so. Just as I knew that in 10 hours the sun would rise, that my name was as my mother had called me, I knew that my nature was faith in God – and nothing would change that. I was and I am 100% sure of it.
When I was born again I lost a lot and gained more. I regained my father’s identity. All this, without which our every plan and dream are like houses on the sand.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127)
Ewa’s mother left for the Lord’s House on November 1 – on Ewa’s birthday. It was accompanied by a great peace of all who loved her.