I lay a gentle hand on her shoulder. It’s nearly 11 am and she’s still tucked under last night’s covers. “Momma,” I say, then I stroke the hair falling soft across her forehead. She startles (as I anticipate) but peers at me wondering. I unclench a fistful of pills and hold up a glass of water – “It’s medicine time.” She understands and lifts herself to sitting as I rest down beside her on the edge of the bed. I hand over the pale angel-demons, offer her the glass, and relax a little – they go down easy this morning. A second goes by. I lean in to kiss her cheek – “Happy Mother’s Day.” Those half-awake eyes squint at me through their perpetual confusion for one… two… three… seconds. “Please, where’s my mom?” she clearly whimpers. This is one of the few still-discernible phrases lingering in her vocabulary. “She’s coming later,” I offer, but I don’t add when. When later arrives, I find her in a fit of weeping, sitting on this couch reliving (for the thousandth time) the death of her own mother 20 some years ago. The mother she woke that morning yearning for. The mother who bore the only love my Momma remembers these days. The mother, who yes, will be coming later . . . coming to take Momma home.
Originally written May 2013