Today my daughter came home from feeding Mama breakfast excited to share the news. “Mom,” she said, her face glowing, “Grandma smiled today!”
Neither of us had seen Mom smile for months, maybe longer. We had pretty much decided she didn’t know how any longer. “What?! Grandma smiled?” I asked, teary eyed with awe.
“Yes,” Annie said. “I was telling the hospice aid about Grandma and mentioned the town where Grandma grew up in Louisiana and she smiled! She didn’t show her teeth, but she smiled!”
We were both so thrilled! And I so wished I had seen it, too. We wondered if it had anything to do with the new anti-anxiety medication that Mom had started last night.
A couple hours later I went over to feed Mom lunch. And in the middle of it she looked right at me and smiled! A closed mouth smile–but definitely a smile! I was so thrilled! It was like the first time I saw my first child smile in recognition of me. It so delighted my heart!
And then a second later Mama hollered in complaint again. But I had seen that precious smile.
Mama also seemed more talkative today. She said, “I need something.”
“What do you need, Mama?”
“Something for me,” she replied, but she couldn’t tell me what.
“Are you in there?” Mama asked me.
“Yes, Mama, I’m here.”
At one point Mama seemed irritated and I asked, “Am I annoying you, Mom?”
And she answered, “It’s possible.”
And this whole conversation actually makes more sense than most of ours have lately.
But her walking and standing were too scary tonight. So we propped her up in bed and fed her there. And I scrambled to mix an Ensure with some ice cream to get more of something in her, before she dozed off.
And then I cuddled up next to her in bed and put my head against her shoulder and quoted some Bible verses and sang some hymns as I held Mama’s velvety soft hand and as I stroked her hair and as I blinked back tears.
I came home exhausted, grateful my husband had picked up supper and ready to crash. This time of hospice is hard stuff. But God is with us. And His angels surround us. And the prayers of His people lift us.
And for TWO brief shining moments, Mama smiled!