Mama doesn’t say much that makes sense anymore. So any words she says that are coherent stand out more. Yesterday, she asked me, “Do you pay attention?”
“Yes, Mama, I try to.” And I especially want to, because I wonder if her words are clues to what she’s thinking–to what is going on in her mind.
For years now, I’ve often heard her say, “I’m crazy.” And I’m so sorry she feels that way. And I wonder if it helps her more to tell her she’s not crazy, or to tell her it’s okay and we understand and will take care of her. But it tells me at some level she’s aware that things aren’t normal. And she hollers loudly and speaks of hate. And I wish I could comfort her somehow.
She speaks the most of mama and home. And she asks where Raymon is. Dad answers, “I’m right here, Nina.” And these words sing to her soul of safety and belonging.
She frequently says, “I’m here now.”
And so I answer, “Yes, you are here now. And I’m glad you are here now. And I’m here, too. And I love you so much.”
And Mama says random things. The other day she asked my daughter, “Are you pretty?”
Annie answered, “Yes, I’m pretty. Are you pretty?”
Mama answered, “Yes, I’m pretty.” And I smiled when I heard the story, and knew she was right.
And the other day a caregiver was trying to quiet her hollering while I was talking to the nurse and whispered, “Shhh…” to Mom. And Mama looked at her and shouted, “Shut up!” And we chuckled.
And then today, as I was feeding Mama her lunch, she said, “I want you.”
And I savor those sweet words.
“I want you, too, Mama. I want you always.”
And I’m thankful for the moments and memories we’re still making together. And for the words I can treasure up, as they are dwindling away, for a time when there are none.
And I’m grateful that when the words stop the story will not end. Because when she leaves us she will be with Jesus. And the real story will just be starting.
And someday we will be together again with all of eternity to share words and thoughts. And to sing praises to our God.
“When we’ve been there ten-thousand years, bright shining as the sun…we’ve no less days to sing God’s days praise, then when we’ve first begun.”