January 10, 2018
I was visiting my sister and family in Dartmouth, MA. My mom is still in the nursing home, which she will reside in for the rest of her life. Thank goodness she isn’t far away from my sister’s house as I’m 2500 miles from her. I love seeing my mother but it breaks my heart to see her laying in bed, all the time. Here is a little excerpt from our visit.
I brought my mom a happy meal today and she seemed to perk up as I unpacked it on her table, that hovers over her frail body. I pulled the chair over to the other side of the bed so I could look at her. She leans to one side of the bed and it’s such a small area, sometimes, it’s hard to bring a chair around to sit in her eye line. Today, I did.
She saw the necklace I was wearing and stared at the charm that dangled from the chain. I waited a few moments until I asked her what was wrong. She just stared at the necklace.
I told her it was a medallion for being clean 3 years and how a lot has happened during that time. She looked at me and then back to the necklace. Her lips said “three years,” but no sound came out. It was weird, actually.
Then, as if she was waking up from a dream or something, she stared me straight in the eyes and here’s our conversation.
Mom: Write about it.
Me: Write about what?
Mom: Write. Just write. You used to do that.
Me: What if I have nothing to write about?
Mom: It will come. Just write.
Me: Yea, I dunno, mom. I might not know what to write.
Mom: You never had trouble writing when you were a kid.
Me: True, but in all of my short stories, I always killed off the parents and became an orphan with my 8 older brothers and 2 dogs. (I laugh, she bears her crooked smile)
Mom: Yes, you certainly did, but the point is, you were writing.
Then, she just stopped talking or listening, really. It appeared like she was staring back into my eyes but I had this eerie feeling she was looking thru my soul. Then, she just sort of “came back” and said, “Please don’t stop writing. Promise me.”
I was speechless. I was so in the moment, that I don’t remember my lips moving, but I heard myself say, “Okay, mom.”
Then she fell asleep talking about Toffee, her neighbor’s dog in Altoona, PA., when she was two or three years old.