I posted this when I was at Blogspot and thought I’d re-post it here.
It’s one of the nice memories of my mother.
I can’t remember the last “real” conversation I shared with my mother.
I’m sure it was your indispensable ‘what’s new with you? Ah, nothing’ variety.
She’s now moving through the late stages of Alzheimer’s and there’s nothing much left to talk about, nothing to be said that can be understood—at least from my vantage point.
I’ve all but lost her.
I sit quietly and listen as she innocently tries to carry on a dialogue that only she can speak and understand.
The last time I visited her at the nursing home, we sat and looked out the opaque windows of the rec room listening to the rain pitter-patter on the long rectangles of glass.
The sound of the rain seems to have more of a calming effect on her than I ever could. Sometimes when I’m sitting there next to her, my mind drifts and I look back on our life and all that we shared, ultimately coming to the sad realization that there’s not much left in the sharing department either.
It was as I was leaving one day that I bent down to kiss her forehead (my own ritual) and absentmindedly asked if she needed anything.
She replied, “How ‘bout a cold one next time?”
That brief moment of clarity, if that’s what it was, caught me off guard and I laughed out loud.
She looked up at me from her wheelchair (where she spends most of her time these days) and began laughing as well.
I smiled; amazed that after all her weary, cobwebbed mind had been through, she could still laugh.
I took comfort in the fact that the simple act of physically expressing happiness still lives and breathes somewhere inside of her.
For now, I’ll settle for those rare moments of laughter that still unknowingly connect us.