Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a special day for me, because I am lucky enough to still have my mom, but I feel her slipping away a little more every day. She is 97 years old, and living in a lovely retirement home close to me, so I can see her often. She has some "old age dementia" and her memory is fading away, but she is still my mama in the important ways.
She still smiles when I walk in like it's the best thing that's happened to her all day. She still holds my hand and tells me she loves me. She still gives me a hug and a kiss when I leave her and tells me to come back soon. Those are the good days--the best days.
On the days that are not so good, she clings to me when I start to leave and begs me not to go. I sit beside her and hold her hand and try to explain to her where she is, and why this is her home now. I show her the pictures of my dad around the room. She looks at them with her wide, beautiful blue eyes that are so innocent and childlike now. So empty and scared. She grips my hand like it's a lifeline, following me to the door and watching me all the way down the hall until I disappear from sight. It's hard to leave her on those days. I stay as long as I can, but I have to go to work, and I have responsibilities at home. She wouldn't have left me though, and we both know it.
I know I'm losing her, a little more every day. I know how lucky I am to have had her for so long. I know that. I know that many people were not so fortunate. I know that too, but it doesn't make it any easier.
So to my first true love, my longest relationship, my sweet little mama--Happy Mother's Day, darling. I love you forever.

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