There Was a Little Girl

Mama has less to say these days. She mostly hollers or talks gibberish. I can’t remember the last time she said my name. And it’s been awhile since I’ve heard her say, “I love you, too.”

But today, as I cuddled her on the love seat, she wrapped her hands around my arm. And she said, “There was a little girl.”

“Yes, Mama,” I said. “I was your little girl. And you were my mommy. I love you so much.”

She patted my arm and gently rubbed it. She said, “I hoped so.” And then she said some things that didn’t make sense. And then she started counting, “Four, five, six…”

And the moment was brief. And I’m not sure what she meant, or if she was just speaking her random words. But I want to believe that a part of her knows that there was a little girl. And that it was me.

And I hope she always, always, always knows how very loved she is.

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She’s My Baby

Last night, like most nights now, I fed Mama her supper. She doesn’t pick up her spoon much anymore, so I mostly feed her myself and she mostly cooperates.

She tends to study me as she’s eating these days and often reaches out and touches my face or gently taps my arm. Sometimes she asks questions that I can answer. Sometimes she hollers her outrage. Sometimes she speaks garbled words that I don’t understand.

When she finished her meal, last night, I helped her walk down the hall and got her changed all clean and fresh. Then I guided her back down the hall and, holding her gait belt, directed her as she took tiny, shuffling steps to the love seat. She sat down next to Dad, and I tucked her in with a cozy throw blanket.

As I was getting my coat on, to go home to my own supper, I heard Mama say, “She’s my baby.”

And I smiled.

Always

A favorite memory from almost two years ago…

 

“I love you,” I say to Mom.
“Well, I did, too,” Mom says. And then she adds, “Always.”
“You always loved me?”
“Yes, I did,” she says with confidence.

I smile, and even though I’m guessing she doesn’t really know what she’s saying, I still know her words are true.

She has always loved me. Always.


And something about hearing her say so makes the day glisten, like bright sunshine after rain. It feels like a gift from Jesus….a moment of fresh mama love and memories of her sweet faithfulness.


And I know I am blessed. Always.

Dimming To-Do List

I needed to leave. I had a list of things to get done. I’d already fed Mom lunch and washed her up and changed her. And I’d tucked her into bed for a nap.

Dad usually lies down with Mom for a nap himself, but he was still busy, so I had stretched out beside Mama myself. And she had cuddled up close to my back and put her arm around me. And her fingers had flutter tapped my back. And Mama was quiet and content and so was I.

But after a few minutes I thought of my list of things to do, and I reluctantly sat up and kissed Mama’s cheek to say good-bye. And then Mama quietly took my hand and held it. She didn’t say a word. She didn’t yell. She just gently held my hand.

And the importance of my to-do list dimmed and faded. And I put my feet back up on the bed and snuggled warm next to Mama.

And I stayed there until Dad came in and wanted his place. And then I got up with no regrets and with a fuller heart.

That’s All I’ve Got

I walked in the house and saw Mama in her rocking chair. “Hi, Mom!” I said.
“That’s all I’ve got,” she answered.
“That’s all you’ve got?” I echoed, entering into whatever her reality of the moment was.
“That’s it!” Mama said. “I might not even have that.”
I wondered what she was thinking and chuckled to myself.

I sat down on the love-seat and Mama soon joined me. Though usually these days when I try to talk to her it seems to get her agitated and yelling, today she listened calmly and made little comments like, “Yep.” Or, “That’s nice.”

I told her about her own childhood. I told her about my week. I told her about my children and my new granddaughter. And she patted my arm and played with my sweater sleeve and leaned her head on my shoulder. And occasionally made little comments that made sense, and some that didn’t.

And even though I doubt she understood much, if anything, of what I was saying, I still felt like I was almost having a conversation with my Mom of the past, the one who knew me and who would have wanted to hear all the details of my life. The Mom I took for granted. The Mom who always cared.

And she said, “I’m here right now.”
And I answered, “I’m here, too.”
And I said, “I like you, Mom.”
And she answered, “I like you, too.”

And I cuddled close to her warmth. I stroked her hair and kissed her cheek. I told her, “You’re my Mom. And you were a wonderful mom to me. Thank you for all the delicious meals you made and for the dresses you sewed me. Thank you for always loving us and taking care of us. You’re my Mom. And you are wonderful.”

Mama didn’t reply. But she didn’t holler or yell either.

We cuddled awhile longer and shared a little bag of M&Ms. And then eventually I said I had to go. I gave Mama a hug and told her I loved her and said good-bye.

And Mama said, “Don’t fall down.”

And I can’t even explain how precious this whole visit was to me. And I can’t tell you why I’m in tears writing this. Except to say I had a whisper of the past…of an almost real conversation with Mom again.

And she likes me. And she’s here right now. And she doesn’t want me to fall down.

And if that’s all she’s got to give, that’s enough for today. And I am blessed.