|Mom and me, May 27th, 2014|
I'm startled how thin she is and almost unrecognizable. When I call her name, she looks up and gives me a little smile.
"Hello Dear" she says.
I take her back to her room and change her clothing where she has spilled some juice or coffee earlier in the day, She has lost 14 kilograms in the last month. Her arms and legs are thin. Her twisted spine shows more than ever. Her breasts hang like little empty sacs. I help her get into clean pyjamas which hang on her now. The swelling in her left is further evidence of a more complex vascular problem. Her toe is rotting and new clots appearing will eventually do the same thing to her other toes. She walks from the bathroom to her bed in a teeter totter fashion. She asks me to straighten out her blankets. She is still the clean and tidy freak.
She talks gibberish and I don't understand what she is saying. She asks me about her brother John and hopes she can see him. She talks about the pictures and why those children don't come to play with me. We both hear the noise of a car speed away outside her complex and she asks me what the noise is.
Her feet and legs are cold but she doesn't seem to notice. The morphine makes her sleepy. She slips in and out. I hold her bony hand. I twirl her ring with the children's birthstones and bring her hand to my lips. She opens her eyes and smiles at me again. She doesn't seem to notice my tears which I can't stop.
She closes her eyes again. I can see her eyes moving underneath her thin lids. I wonder what she is seeing and thinking. I study her hand some more. She has large cracks at the side of her nails. She has dozens of age spots on the top of her hands. Her index finger is crooked. Her hands are so small now. They have done so many things: wrung out clothes, spanked kids' bottoms, shovelled wheat, made bread, ironed clothing, knit slippers, prayed for understanding. Her breathing is even but shallow. The morphine has worked its magic and she is now asleep. Her hand goes limp in mine. I put it back under the covers and watch her for a few more minutes.
Little bird please fly away soon.