Think of Me: April 24, 2013 (With Mama in her Garden)

Happy 85th Birthday Mama

“Think of me,” she said in croaky Spanish. “Think of me as always being well.”

“I have my house, my chimney, light, water…

I am comfortable because it is my house.

I’ll go back there when the cold is over.

Don’t worry about me. I know how to take care of myself. “

She keeps brining up the chairs that belonged to a family friend.

“My baby.” she calls me. “My baby forever,” she says.

“Take care of yourself.”

“Always think of me as being well. I’m safe here in my room.”

Walking through her property, with Gizmo in tow, I speak with her.

She utters stories, accounts of old, and of this morning, which might as well have been years ago.

Her list of topics of discussion grows shorter, rapidly.

She always sends her regards to Steve, my companion, as she calls him.

She blesses me and us; and that God will watch over us and keep us safe. I bless her back; she smiles at me.

I ask her questions that should elicit a familiar response. Though the answers should be the same as before, they have started to vary.

I ask normal questions to corroborate the truth that I have known for some time: she is leaving us, slowly and surely. She is no longer the mother I remember; even so, she radiates the star struck blissfulness of her youth, happy, content, and in her mind, safe.

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