I want to tell you what happened Sunday
when I went to see Mom
although it was nothing really
I wrote it all down
afraid I might forget

How when I arrived
she was doing laps in the halls
so fast she was out of breath
till she saw me
Opened arms and said,
“Oh sister, my sister,
how we miss each other!”

She leans now
closer to the ground
like she might fall with each step
but keeps going around
up and down the halls
always making a pit stop in the lobby though
where Nick parks his wheel chair to watch her pass
he’s been her sweetheart since Dad died.

Last month when Nick turned 99
we took them out for Italian
he told us how he landed in Normandy
his nose in the mud and blood
everyone dying around him
he says,
“He spent his life wondering why God saved him
till he met my mom.”

Now he tells me to take care of her.
Who will make sure she eats
has two creams in her coffee
takes her medicine?
Mom leans over even more
to kiss him on the top of his head
“Oh don’t worry, you’re getting better!”
Makes us all cry.
So, we walk again

I’m scared when I see her, in me
how much I forget
but I can’t forget
how scared she was
in the elevator
in the car
– we had to go back after only one block.
every trip to the bathroom
a nightmare of fear.
Till she saw the photo of my Dad,
on the mirror
and she said
“WOW! He’s mine, not yours!”

I am afraid I might forget
how when I spooned her apple sauce
she said
“Okay, you be the mom now.”
and opened her mouth.
Told me I had pretty hair
and that
I smile too nice.
And when she said it
she got teary
which made me cry
and she said “Oh you do this too?”
and we sat there in the dining room
weeping together
and though the server didn’t seem to notice
she left a stack a napkins as she passed.
at some point she said
“Okay, lets be happy now”
so we were
especially when they brought the ice cream
and she asked
“How could it be
that I never had such a wonderful thing
as this vanilla ice cream?
Really how could it be?”

And how could it be
when we went out to sit on the bench
an indigo bunting made a stop on the fence
she pointed at him
how beautiful
and my shirt with pink flowers
and the sky
the tree in the parking lot

See,
she taught me
to see.

At bedtime she kept sitting up
getting up
petting her cat that wasn’t there
till I crawled in the bed with her
rubbed her back
said the prayer she used to say to me growing up
“Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the lord, My soul to take.”
She whispered back thank yous
and please do not go
Though I knew she wasn’t really talking to me anymore
when she said
“Thank you,
I know, 
it wont be long,
I love you too, Honey.”

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