I cuddle up next to Mama in her bed. I quote some Bible passages. I sing What a Friend We Have in Jesus. I pray with her. I talk to her about her childhood and life history. And all the time Mama stares at the wall and is unresponsive.
I touch her face and tell her that I love her so much and that she’s been a wonderful mom to me. She doesn’t blink or move. She’s lying on her back, her arms at her side, so immobile. So still.
I notice again that her cheekbones seem more prominent…her cheeks more hollow. She looks older. And she’s so quiet. I long for a word from her. A look. Something.
It’s been especially stressful lately, with my 94 year old mother-in-law in the hospital for a few days and then coming back to our home with ongoing health concerns and some depression.
I know Mama can’t comprehend what I’m saying, but I crave her comfort. I scoot down in the bed and lean my head against the side of her shoulder. I put my arm around her waist and snuggle close to her warmth. I share a few things of the past weeks and tears start to silently flow.
And then I see Mama slowly, as if with effort, raise her arm and place it over mine. And I feel her warm hand pat-patting my arm. Gentle flutter taps and strokes.
And the tears flow again through a smile. Because I feel Mama’s love. And God’s grace.
And Mama keeps softly pat-patting.
Touches of tender mercies from Mama and Jesus.
“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you…” Isaiah 66:13 (NKJV)