On Monday I went to visit my Mom who lives in the complex continuing care unit of a hospital around the corner from us. We had been away at camp the previous week, home for just enough time to do laundry before heading to Newfoundland. We had a couple of hours to catch up before I went home to finish packing.

I was folding clothes when the phone rang. With a steady voice, one of my Mom’s nurses explained that they had been unable to wake her up, assured me she was breathing and strongly suggested that we come. I immediately called my brother and together we joined our Mom at her bedside.

It was a scary night. At times we were very uncertain about what the outcome was going to be. I felt sure that I wouldn’t be getting on a plane. However, as we have experienced a number of times before, my Mom rallied. In the wee hours of the morning she opened her eyes, smiled and obviously recognized us and the others who had gathered. I felt jittery with relief.

I confess that I was entirely conflicted about embarking on our trip. With the encouragement of others, including my Mom I found courage to go. I promised her that I would heed her advice and take a lot of pictures. My Mom is an artist and I find myself trying to capture the things she would like to see, smell and touch. I am filled with memories of summers in Northern Ontario where the terrain is not dissimilar to Newfoundland. I know she would love it here.

Mom, I aspire to be as strong and gentle as you. I love you. These photos are for you (there are hundreds more for when we’re back together).

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