It’s no secret that I’m more comfortable “doing” than “being.” The joke is that I have to stop myself once in awhile with the words, “You’re a human being, not a human doing!” My first response to my mother’s terrible car accident was pain for her pain and fear of losing her. The next day, I began to ask myself, “What are you going to do?”

At first, I was afraid that Mom might not survive the accident. I thought I had better hurry if I wanted to see her alive. Later, I worried that she might not want to survive. Maybe she wanted to let go but needed to see all of her children one last time.

So many things went through my mind that first, long, awful night after the accident. I had no idea how much pain my mother was in. I woke every couple of hours in tears, imagining her terrible suffering and fear and loneliness – immobile and barely conscious. At 2 AM I woke to the smell of Lily of the Valley in my bedroom, something I have not smelled since the last time I bought Mom her favorite fragrance.

But as I spoke with family Saturday and Sunday and heard about her amazing progress, I came to believe that she wasn’t going to let go, didn’t want to die and, out of sheer will, would survive. I do believe she has miracles coming to her and is now cashing in on them.

This made my decision an easy one – that of waiting until she began the hard work of rehabilitation to go out. I’m banking on Mom’s extraordinary will to live and hoping I can be of use to her when she starts down the long road to rehabilitation.

At the very least, I can read to her and tell her stories. But, mostly I will be there for myself. I’m hoping that some of Mom’s bright light and boundless capacity to love rubs off on me.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.