At exactly 2:15 AM searing pain shot through my leg, from behind my ankle, quickly radiating to the tips of my toes and up passed my hip joint. I had never before experienced such pain. I simply couldn’t move because of the agony. I had not a clue what to do but couldn’t have done anything anyway. What a predicament. I was expressing deep moans and rolling my head from side-to-side, while twisting the top of my top sheet between my fingers. Any more movement than that increased the pain. C’mon, I told myself, you’re 15 for Pete’s sake; stop acting like a baby. Think! What can you do? I tried to figure things out, but it just hurt too much. At last, I could stand it not one minute longer. With tears pouring down my face and soaking the front of my nightgown, I did the only thing I knew I had wanted to do from the very beginning of the onset of pain.
“Mama, Mam-a-ah, Mam-a-a-ah! I nee-ee-eed you! Mam-a-a-ah!” On the one hand, I felt terrible like if anyone would find out I did this, I would just die of embarrassment. On the other hand, I also knew I wanted my Mama and I wanted her right now. Fifteen years old or not, I just wanted my Mama there with me.
Fortunately, my bedroom was directly above my parents’ room so mother heard me and came shooting up the stairs. She stroked my hair back from my forehead and wiped away the tears from my cheeks. “Sh-h-h, Honey. Mama’s here. It’ll be okay. Sh-h-h.”
“But, Mama, it hurts so bad, really it does.” She had a cool, wet rag and was gently wiping my eyes and face.
“Sh-h-h, Mama knows. Sh-h-h The doctor said it would hurt when the Novocain wore off and gave us some pills to give you. I’ll go get you some water and a pill.” She left the room and, funnily enough, my mother had managed to make it better already—simply by her presence. She had calmed me; the pain now localized to my ankle.
“Here you go; take that and the pain will go away. You need to go to sleep and this should help you.” My mother helped me to a sitting position, put the tablet in my mouth and lifted the glass to my lips. As soon as she saw me swallow, she took the glass I was holding up to her.
“Thanks, Mom. I’ll be okay. It’s better already.” Did she notice I had switched back to my “older” version of her name and was no longer speaking to her like I was 5 instead of 15? Probably, but she knew what was in my eyes was not necessarily what would come out of my mouth.
“Do you want Mama to sleep here awhile with you? Just until you fall asleep?” Indeed, I did and that was such a shock to me; I could not believe it. I nodded and moved over to let her in.
The next morning I was much better though still had some pain in my ankle. Mom was not in the bed when I awoke. To her credit, she never told anyone she had slipped into my bed to help me go to sleep. Mom had known it was embarrassing for me; but, she knew it would help me. It was our little secret.
It was also a lifetime revelation for me: Regardless of how many years were attributed to my age, there would never be anyone like Mama to soothe those pains in life!
(Oh, if you’re interested in the outcome? Three more weeks on crutches and my leg was fine.)
****My Mom and Bible Mothers… Coming Tomorrow