I’ve been meaning to write this. Mostly for myself. Just a note. Something to remind me of her. She doesn’t know my name. My memories of her are fading. I have to create new ones — I have to or what will I be left at the end of the day?
We have moments. They’re strange — not normal. Surreal even. Moments when I play the role of mom and she’s the child. She doesn’t listen to me. She does what she wants. She whines. She fights me. She makes me buy her chicken legs and bird seed… please don’t ask… I try to say no, “you have bird seed and there are like 4 packs of chicken in the fridge…” She tries to trick me. She lies with a smile. I laugh and smile sometimes. I hold her hand when we walk across the parking lot. I place her head on my shoulder when she falls asleep at church—and that leads me to my moment, my mother/daughter moment, when our roles are reversed and order is restored for a brief second.
Most every Sunday, I take her to church. I’ve been going to church with her ever since I moved home… but as a lapse Catholic, I have an old habit of falling asleep during Mass. I like to think of it as “meditation.” During those brief moments, I place my head on her shoulder and nap… but before I fall asleep, she caresses my face—she remembers. She knows… she knows I’m her baby.
And then we have to kneel. Thrust back into our reality. The one where she has a totally random conversation with me while everyone is praying.
The one where she (for the 20th time in the last hour) asks me about inviting Padre Andres to the house for “fruit” (that’s dinner in dementia).