My Mother, the Saint

May 2, 2010
They call my mother a saint of the highest order. They tell of how she was blessed with the comforting hands of Jude, and how the unending compassion of Dymphna is woven into her subconcious. It has been said that the miraculous spirit of Anne resides within her. The healing hands of Rita, Catherine and Dymphna were sewn onto the ends of her arms. And peace of Juliana and Peregrine was instilled in her very soul.
My mother was to be a twin, but my grandmother Hope had a miscarriage. Doctors told Hope not to count on my mother making it. That she would go also, to a land of pearly gates and unfathomable peace. Inexplicably, the beautiful Saint Catherine was born.

By the time I was two years old, my mother had decided that she was to become a nurse, as she was overwhelmed by the spirits of Saint Rita and Saint Catherine. It was evident in her bight, dewy face that her passion lied in healing. She shared in their love and faith in what society deemed lost cases. Several times, my mother has acted as Saint Rita and Saint Catherine in resuscitating her patients.
I would follow her around the hospital in a matching nurse’s outfit. I mirrored her compassion in every way I could. When I would see a patient in the halls attached to a menacing IV I would stroke their hands and tell them I would fix them. Hugs and kisses were my medicine.
She seamlessly slid into the personality of Rita, as she took on the role of caring for “impossible cases” in emergency room, intensive care units, and trauma units, even on Life Flight. Some have declared they were delivered to Heaven, and scorned her for bring them back to this bleak, grey world. Others who faced a less tasteful fate thanked her for their rebirth. Rita showed me second chances come in every form, from an ice cold defibrillator to the chest, or a smile that says He forgives you.
She became Catherine as she nursed the blistering wounds of the sick, binding cloth around them with tender loving care. Nurses, with experience twenty years over her own, flocked to the fresh out of university nurses side, begging her for help. Age dissolved itself in this way. I began to look at age as more of a time place of only how long you had been on this planet, not how much experience you had gained. I suppose this is what urged me to start school years earlier than others, and consider many of my closest friends my mother’s contemporaries, not my own. Tucking these saints carefully away within her, she next took the form of the gracious Saint Dymphna.

When I was seven, she brought home her gift of curing the incurable as I was diagnosed with a plethora of mental illnesses ranging from depression to anxiety and hitting about every mark in between. My mother became Saint Dymphna. The saint of nervous and mental disorders took up a permanent residence in my home, and faithfully tried to heal me for the next eight years. She blessed me with her healing words and seemingly medicinal embraces. Even as I screamed at the top of my lungs and clawed at her with sweaty palms, she seemed untouchable. It was as if God had placed her on a pedestal with his archangels guarding her against my demonic words.

In more recent years, the new Saint Juliana’s brother was diagnosed with Phase Four Non Hutchins’s Lymphoma and prostate cancer. She bathes his life in as much comfort as she can provide and slaved to cure him, until Saint Peregrine reminds her that Phase Four is final. Saint Catherine, Rita and Dymphna have stepped down, and only Peregrine is left to spread what seem to be vicious lies. As his cancer progresses, she began to take interest in hospice, begging her brother to try to manage his pain. He only shakes his head “no”. Peter is in denial.
Never without holy water by her side (usually in the form of hand sanitizer) Saint Jude set off into the world of palliative care. The new director of Haven Hospice, she consumed her patience with love. The plausible reincarnate, once fighting for the lives of her patience, now lead them to Gabriel. She never once let them trip over the stones of pain or discomfort as she led them blindly to their Father.

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