Mother’s Day In and Out of the ICU

On Mother’s Day morning I was greeted by homemade muffins and cards that the children had left out for me. They knew I’d be starting my day long before they woke up, here at INOVA Loudoun Hospital.


ICU Hallway

Compared to the hustle and bustle of the rest of the hallways, I’m always struck by how quiet and empty it is on the way to the ICU. If I meet other visitors there, we tend to smile at one another in sad solidarity. Nobody wants to spend Mother’s Day like this. But I’m grateful that I got to be with my mother, and tell her how much I love her. This was the first Mother’s Day we’ve celebrated since my husband’s mother died, and he was missing his mother very much.

Holding Hands

I’m sure my mom wouldn’t want me posting pictures of her whole room, but outside the waiting room is a helpful image of a typical ICU setup, which looks like this:

ICU Set Up Poster

After spending the morning with my mom, I spent the afternoon with my children, who are at ages where they are so very excited about all the holidays. This is the way of life these days, split between dealing with the incredibly sad and hard, helping the kids through those times, and trying to give the kids the opportunity to experience some of the joys of childhood. As I left the ICU I noticed that most of the visitors were older than my mother, with the patients/mothers they were visiting being older than my grandmother.

We spent the afternoon in “Grandma’s Park,” which seemed fitting. Lots of other families were there, picnicking, grilling, having pictures taken, and strolling about on the lawn.

Goose Family

The kitchen garden is coming along nicely.

Kitchen Garden

We went for a little hike in the mud, about which some children were more pleased than others.

Little Guy

Crossing the Mud


What Giant Puddle

And there were some caterpillars. Abigail rescued Betsy from one on Betsy’s shoulder,

Caterpillar Rescue

but then Betsy insisted I take the following picture, because Grandma needed to see it. It was pretty funny, and no, we didn’t put the caterpillar there.

Larva Stage

I am really thankful; thankful for my husband who worked so hard to do special things for me when he was feeling absolutely crummy and missing his mom, thankful for my dad and everyone else caring for my mom, and thankful that I got to be with her on Mother’s Day. And I’m especially thankful that I get to be a mom to these three brave and curious and wonderful children.

About rbpepper

Rebecca is an artist, writer, and photographer with degrees in Theater and Social Work, and is currently a Stay at Home Mom to her three kids. Some part of her house is always a mess, she lets her kids paint on the table and design their own costumes, and she makes excellent allergen-free cookies. She lives with her equally creative husband and children in a part of Virginia known for being "pretty close to Dulles Airport", and dreams of moving to an old farmhouse in New England.
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1 Response to Mother’s Day In and Out of the ICU

  1. Pingback: Mother’s Day Without Mom | Rebecca Breed Pepper

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