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I first have to thank you all for your incredibly kind emails and messages. It gives me strength.

It’s difficult to look at my mother in that ICU bed. My mother has never been one to rest. There is too much to do. A yoga class, an errand for a sick friend, work, a walk with her dog, a meeting, phone calls…. She is not a woman who sits still.

So to see her lying there. It’s just not natural. Not the Susan I know.

Today, she started asking for things. Like a milkshake, an ice cream, a Coke. She was looking for some kind of comfort. Of course, what she really wants is to make the overwhelming pain vanish, leap out of that hospital bed and return to her life.

But the little comforts like a sip of Coca Cola will have to do for now.

I went to the accident scene today to pick up her car. She had parked it in front of CVS just before crossing the street to buy a present for Summer’s 3rd birthday. But she just never got to the other side.

It was strange to be there. To see all those people just running errands and being so normal.  I just stared at that intersection, wondering how something so horrific could happen at such an ordinary place.

I looked in the back of my mother’s car and saw a stack of Hanukkah cards for my husband’s family.  And a Christmas wreath. And wrapping paper. Regular holiday stuff that any of us would throw in the back of the car.  All that stuff just waiting for her.

My mother’s injuries are extensive. A broken vertebrae in her neck, another broken vertebrae in her back, a pelvis now held together by screws and metal, a broken ankle. She needs more surgery. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be long. It’s going to be painful. And I know she can do this.

There are big glimmers of light.

The doctors were able to stop the internal bleeding.

She did not suffer brain damage.

She can breathe on her own.

She has sensation in her hands and feet.

I have faith she will recover.

For years, my mother’s answering machine message has ended with the words, “Smile, breathe and know you’re loved.”

So in her honor, I will try to smile, to breathe, to know I’m loved.

And when I visit her tomorrow… I will make sure she does the same. Even if it’s just for a moment.

kelcey kintner