Updated: Jun 3, 2021
Right now she is fighting for her life and boy is she fighting. I do believe she might be underestimated and she is shining through trying to become well enough after this terrible tragedy and course of events that happened following her surgery on Sept. 3, 2019. We were on a road to gaining a better quality of life with a new shoulder that she needed to help her get around the house. That's all we needed.
She hasn't been able to walk without extreme pain for several years due to her feet being overpronated, meaning, the ground meets bone instead of the heel so she is in a wheelchair and uses a walker at home.
She could still get around very well and kept her home of 40 years clean as well as caring for my aging for my father and her husband of 58 years.
She never let arthritis get her down, ever, even when it attacked her vertebrae and compressed nerves that led to a 2-year long 24-hour a day migraine headache.
She was still the church secretary and organist, made the bulletins, played the offering and Sunday special at the church organ, with a migraine. Never considering most people would rather quit than have to work in such pain. Always searching for answers to help with the suffering but never once stopping to pity herself.
She went through three back and neck operations to repair the problem and at some point the headaches were relieved. Her poor skeleton is covered in this mess and she has adjusted to chronic pain but her health otherwise was good. We have her checked out whenever she gets above certain pain level tolerances and had done so recently. Clean bill of health. No diseases. No respiratory issues.
That brings me to today looking back on the events of the past few weeks and I sit astonished at what has happened. I have never witnessed anything like this in all the years of my parents being hospitalized. This time is different, this time things went wrong. A medical mistake.
Thinking about her and trying to put together anything that can make sense is driving me mad and I am writing about that in another post but right now I just want to talk about my memory of my mother being a pianist.
Her name is Linda Keaton and she was born in 1943 although I didn't know her then, let's begin with what I do know. I will say my first memory is about five years old in 1975 and the memory is of how I would sneak from my spot in the pew at church on Sunday and go sit at her feet behind the partial wall that protects the organ and I would watch her play the bass pedals with her shoes off. My dad was a deacon so he was greeting people and she was the organist so I was kind of free to do what I wanted during a good part of a church service. I remember being snapped at or preached at a little louder when I was doing sit-ups in my church dress and ruffly socks sitting on the second row by the preacher but what I really remember is taking that moment to go to the front of the church while people were filing in for the service that day to sit at the steps by my mom and feel the vibrations from the church organ and soak in the loud tones she was filling the sanctuary with. Now when I hear the hymns she always played throughout my life I have that moment in time being a small child just developing memories of my mom jamming the bass and slinging the hymns.
My mom would "shoo" me back to my pew once she realized I wasn't in my seat for the service. It only took those few minutes to burn into my memory forever a beautiful moment between mother and daughter. Never has there ever been a time that music wasn't being played in my home. The piano has been a staple throughout my life. I don't even know how to play the piano but I also don't remember when one wasn't being used in the home I lived in. Mom would spend the week at home playing the special for Sunday offering on her baby grand piano my father gave her. This was one of her many gifts she has shared with so many people. This one, in particular, was probably the most far-reaching. Her piano playing was beautiful and soft and never showy. She called herself a hymnist and she is. Music was forever her life and it has been years since she has sat to play. Her tiny little hands are now changed by arthritis and no longer can she endure playing a keyboard. I do not know if I have one video of my mother playing the organ or piano and I do not like that. I do know it was beautiful and pleasing to the ear. She was always so humble and shy never wanting a spotlight. To a fault and to the point of sacrificing herself so others could have something.
I wish for my mother in her time of this very tough recovery that she can experience some relief from her constant battle. I don't want her to get tired of fighting, this was unexpected for her and it has taken all of us by complete surprise. May she be serenaded by beautiful music while she rests if only by God's covering.
The organ she played sits in my home today and is dusted and cared for as if it were in use and will always be. This is the cornerstone of my family history based on song and praise and assurance. Please I beg that she get well and can come back to her home to enjoy the rest of her life the way God intended, not man. Her legacy in life is set in stone, that is not an issue. She wants to live. She did this shoulder surgery to improve her life. She loves her family and cooking and party planning and cross-stitching. This was so she could live.
Each day is new and shows signs of recovery and hope. I beg her to fight and hang on to everything she has so we can cook that Thanksgiving turkey together and gather once again. She knows people are praying and she believes in prayer. So if you pray and you are out there please do so for my mom. Just a little one. Thank you. #prayer #church #mother #organist #hymnist #suffering #thisismystory #Takotsubo #American #Healthcare