Yesterday, I went to see Mama. I have always enjoyed our visits and phone conversations, but a few months ago, my 102 year-old-mother had a bad fall as well as a stroke and her life changed forever. She no longer shuffles along with her walker or sits in her living room chair watching TV with her caregiver. She is now bedfast and sleeps a lot. I miss those visits and phone calls. I miss hearing her messages on my voice mail telling me to pick up the phone.
The last time I made this two-hour trip to my mother’s home, she slept the whole time I was there. But I talked to her anyway. I smoothed her hair away from her face and watched her sleep, wondering how many times she watched me sleep when I was young.
Yesterday, she woke up soon after I arrived and talked a little. She smiled when my son, Jay embraced her in a gentle hug. They’re buddies. They have a special love for each other. Jay tends to bring joy to anyone who is fragile, and Mama is definitely fragile. Even frail.
While I was there she ate lunch then I put cream on her dry skin and a warm compress on her eye. She told me she hurt so I prayed for her. How many scrapes did she kiss away when I was a child? How many prayers did she pray over me through the years? Hundreds! Thousands!
But Mama didn’t stay awake long. In fact, it took me longer to travel to her house than the time she was awake while I was there. But love isn’t measured in waking hours or miles traveled. Love comes from the heart and Mama’s heart has always been full of love.
So while my mother slept, I sang over her. I sang, “Jesus Loves Me,” feeling certain she sang that to her baby girl while I slept in her arms. I believe she heard my song, and I definitely believe she felt my kiss on her cheek and heard the words I whispered before leaving…. “I love you, Mama!”