That’s All I’ve Got

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I walked in the house and saw Mama in her rocking chair. “Hi, Mom!” I said.
“That’s all I’ve got,” she answered.
“That’s all you’ve got?” I echoed, entering into whatever her reality of the moment was.
“That’s it!” Mama said. “I might not even have that.”
I wondered what she was thinking and chuckled to myself.

I sat down on the love-seat and Mama soon joined me. Though usually these days when I try to talk to her it seems to get her agitated and yelling, today she listened calmly and made little comments like, “Yep.” Or, “That’s nice.”

I told her about her own childhood. I told her about my week. I told her about my children and my new granddaughter. And she patted my arm and played with my sweater sleeve and leaned her head on my shoulder. And occasionally made little comments that made sense, and some that didn’t.

And even though I doubt she understood much, if anything, of what I was saying, I still felt like I was almost having a conversation with my Mom of the past, the one who knew me and who would have wanted to hear all the details of my life. The Mom I took for granted. The Mom who always cared.

And she said, “I’m here right now.”
And I answered, “I’m here, too.”
And I said, “I like you, Mom.”
And she answered, “I like you, too.”

And I cuddled close to her warmth. I stroked her hair and kissed her cheek. I told her, “You’re my Mom. And you were a wonderful mom to me. Thank you for all the delicious meals you made and for the dresses you sewed me. Thank you for always loving us and taking care of us. You’re my Mom. And you are wonderful.”

Mama didn’t reply. But she didn’t holler or yell either.

We cuddled awhile longer and shared a little bag of M&Ms. And then eventually I said I had to go. I gave Mama a hug and told her I loved her and said good-bye.

And Mama said, “Don’t fall down.”

And I can’t even explain how precious this whole visit was to me. And I can’t tell you why I’m in tears writing this. Except to say I had a whisper of the past…of an almost real conversation with Mom again.

And she likes me. And she’s here right now. And she doesn’t want me to fall down.

And if that’s all she’s got to give, that’s enough for today. And I am blessed.


  1. Thanks for sharing you experience. I the care giver for my mom and sometimes it a smile in the night during her breathing treatment, or just a short comment but I will take anything and everything I get to experience especially the moments like you had. God bless you.

  2. She likes you because she senses how you feel about her. I am so glad you decided to tell her all the wonderful things she did for you. We never know if it doesn’t register or they simply cannot respond. I would give anything to go back and have a single moment with my mom…not mom of the past…but even mom with YOAD. I just want to tell her how wonderful she was. Thank you for writing this post and thank you for treating your mom with love and respect. She responded to not your words…but to your emotions.

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