Remembering Annabel

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Mom hollers adamantly, “I’m going to kill you!  I’m going to kill everybody!” And the next minute she sounds like a helpless child begging for mercy as she pleads, almost crying, “Please, please, please, please, PLEASE don’t do that to me!” as I’m gently drying her off after her bath and helping her get dressed.

I’m thankful we don’t share a wall with any neighbors, because I wonder what they’d think.

But later I sit next to Mama, and she holds my hand and pats my arm and tugs at my sleeve.  She smiles and laughs and she’s beautiful. And I treasure the sweet moments.

And Dad and I talk awhile and he tells me we need to buy Mom a new Annabel (her lost baby doll) because Mom is still coming to bed at night and talking to her.

“What do you mean she’s talking to Annabel?  How do you know she’s not talking to you?”

“No,” Dad says confidently. “It’s her Annabel language… the things she says to her. I thought maybe she’d even found it, but no.  She was just talking to it.”

And I’m amazed that Mom remembers a relationship with a baby doll she can’t see anymore and probably threw away herself. But she remembers her Annabel and is saying her name and talking love to her, even though she’s not there.

And I think, someday that will be me. Someday my Mom will be gone, and I won’t think about her screaming harsh words. But I’ll remember the sweet cuddle moments, her soft hand… her gentle pats on my arm, her beautiful smile. And I’ll lie on my bed and remember her and want to speak love to her.

I can replace Mom’s Annabel, but I can’t replace Mom. But thankfully when Mom is gone she won’t be lost.  She will be Home. And there I will find her again and for eternity.

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