I sit next to Mama on the love seat and start to sing our Bushel and a Peck song. “I Love you…” I sing and then I pause for Mama to sing her part.
But instead of the next line, “A bushel and a peck”, Mama sings, “I know that you do…” making up her own melody.
I smile and try again with the same results.
We sit and talk as Mama pats my arm. Actually it’s more of a flutter tapping. As if she is counting thirty two beats to a measure. But so gently, and her hands are so soft. Sometimes she strokes my arm. Sometimes she slides her hand under my sleeve and flutter taps for a while there.
And I relish every little touch.
She holds my hand, and I remember the security I felt holding her hand when I was young. And I think about all the meals her hands have prepared. And all the dresses her hands have sewn and all the comforting they have given to babies and all the words they have typed at work.
And now those hands are pale and the skin is so delicate and wrinkly and semi-transparent. Some joints bulge with arthritis. And the hands no longer sew or type or cook.
But Mama’s hands still comfort her daughter. And her gentle flutters tap out a song of Mama love.