Why do you keep coming here?…… Mom ask. Without giving a seconds thought I replied “This is where you are.” She just smiled, as much as she could, like it was the most meaningful thing she had heard in a long time. I was glad I said it.
I saw her in the cafeteria of the Lutheran Senior Services Center at the dinner table. I walked up behind her, took a chair on the end next to her, just her and me. She looked up, recognized me just as she always had; she didn’t look the same to me. A “that isn’t my Mom” thought came to mind. Her eyes were sunken a reddish pink color. A hollow look ……..my real Mom isn’t there anymore. It’s the first time I ever felt that. She looks lost, defeated.
Just a few days earlier she was ready to go home; but she has more days of rehab., to gain strength back from a short hospital stay. Maybe she was just having a bad day. She was tired from rehab. She couldn’t hold a fork in her hand…..there was silverware on the floor underneath the wheelchair. What a difference a day makes.
We spent some time talking, only bits and pieces made sense. I really didn’t want to leave her. After awhile I got up, rubbed her back and told her I loved her. As I walked out, all I could see was her face, lost, lonely, but this was a different loneliness than what she has felt since we lost my dad. I feel helpless. Maybe tomorrow she’ll be back, I can tell her I love her.
There is no love like a mother’s love. If you are fortunate enough to still have yours, give her a hug and tell her you love her. What a difference a day makes.