Sometime during the 1970s, Mom had a stroke. I use the word sometime because when it happened, she didn’t seek medical help … not immediately and not ever. It was only during a routine physical in 1984 that the doctor asked: “When did you have a stroke? There’s nothing in your medical history about it.”
Following that physical, Mom and I talked and she told me she remembered a time when she had experienced numbness in her face and on one side of her body and she slurred her words a bit. Still, she didn’t think it was significant enough to consult a doctor or take a trip to the emergency room. Apparently, her symptoms went unnoticed by everyone else in the family.
Since I was out of the home at that point and living far away, I’m not sure whether our family members (living under the same roof) were just oblivious or whether the stroke was truly so mild, my mom convinced everyone around her that everything was fine. (Here’s a related post about that.) At the time of the stroke, I think she still had two children in high school and was occupied with the business of overseeing their lives as well as being a devoted wife to my dad. She was needed on multiple levels and as is her wont, she did what she always has: she soldiered on. Continue reading “Mother Love”