Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Latest Uma update from my mom


Uma is scheduled to go home a week from today. I spent a few hours with her at the rehab facility today, and there is such a wonderful sense of Uma getting ready to leave this place. There are no more tubes in her, she’s eating solid foods, walking remarkably well with her cane and leg brace, and looking incredibly tired of living in this place filled with hospital noises and people who are nice enough but not really part of her life and not really tuned into the fact that she intends to—and is very capable of—a complete recovery. You can’t really blame people who work in this environment for aiming for minimal results that will enable people to do basic things like feed themselves and go to the bathroom without help. That mentality would be hard to resist if you spent your entire worklife with the “disabled.” But that’s just not good enough for Uma, and everyone who knows and loves her knows that—especially John, who spent the day getting their apartment ready for Uma’s return and was so elated with the progress he made with help from his brother, Wayne.

Uma’s friend, Colleen, was there when I arrived today, and I was wearing my Uma T-shirt and it felt great to be a part of the “Uma team.” We are all going to be needed for quite some time, because Uma has a lot of work to do to achieve that full recovery and she and John are going to need a lot of love and all kinds of support. There certainly has been no shortage of that so far, and I have no doubt that whatever they need will somehow be provided.

Today, while Uma and I were leafing through entertainment magazines and watching “Ellen,” I stole a glance at her lovely profile and then remembered how she looked in the ICU in New York. Now that she is back in so many ways and taking steps every day toward that full recovery, it’s easy to lose sight of how miraculous it is that she is even breathing. But miraculous it is, and I know that a great many people who have kept Uma in their thoughts and prayers—some of whom she has never even met—have helped her get this far. Someday she will fully understand the depth and breadth of love in her life as she learns about all that has happened since January 31. What an amazing thing it is going to be to watch her heal and grow as she reclaims her life in coming months.

No one likes to spend time in hospitals, but when John returned today and it was time for me to go home, a part of me didn’t want to leave. There is something very special about being in Uma’s presence. Her beauty is profound, even more so now that she is having to reach deep inside herself for the strength and determination to confront all the new challenges in her life. We clasped hands as I was about to leave today. I didn't want to let go.


Tamara said...

Hi there,

Before I out myself, I need to find out if you're the same Mr. Patterson that I use as a sub often? If so, why didn't you share your blog with me! I told you about mine I thought?

Anyway, if you're the same person, then you're very famous to one of my close friends. She asked me over dinner the other night if you were the same person that subs for me. Odd and small world.

So...are you the Patterson who subs a lot for a teacher with the first name Tamara out in the bungalows?

And...though I'm new to your blog, I do hope and wish the best for your friend. I feel she'll be fine with friends around like you who care so deeply.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sherry for such a great update. I also have had a hard time leaving Uma. I guess that's the catch -- it may be a hospital that no one wants to be in, especially Uma, but the fact is she's there temporarily to get better so that she can leave, and when you leave you're leaving her, not a stinky hospital (and actually, by way of stink, her place is under control).

I was thinking today about how constantly connected we are, and how that must be such a contrast to Uma (but I'm sure at this point not one of her biggest concerns). With cell phones and email and email that comes to our cell phones, we are literally just a click away from people we love. It's hard to not be able to just pick up a phone and call Ums whenever you want. But soon...

Keep your peckers up, Ums! Oh, and hi Erik.


Sherry Angel said...

I know how hard that must be for all of those who were so used to talking to Uma every (or almost) every day. She can't be connected to her loved ones in that way right now, but I know she feels the love.