There she sits; staring out the window,
Tranquil like the snow that falls outside.
Her back is to me,
Draped in a pale blue gown,
White hair standing on end.
I approach unnoticed,
Sitting on the bed beside her.
It doesn’t break her trance.
I place my hand on hers.
The vacancy remains.
What draws her attention so?
Is it a childhood memory
That carries her away from me today?
I decide to join her.
A submarine, submerged deep in thought.
I see her young again,
Remembering a day, she taught me to sew.
Her lovely hands, weave in and out of fabric,
Dark hair falling over her slender shoulders.
How patient she was with all of my mistakes.
I sojourn further,
Murky waters becoming clearer.
Taking long walks and collecting leaves.
Baking gingerbread, the house filled with the scent of spices.
Midnight snacks that lead to deep conversations that lead to making pancakes at sunup.
Tears that were met with hugs and kisses.
Fears that were consoled with wise council.
Backyard camp outs on sticky summer nights.
Schools and holidays, breakups and make ups,
And all the in-between.
Against my desire to linger, I’m drawn upward.
Rising, rising to the surface,
The waves of the past wash over me
The sound of her voice transports me to reality once again.
“Who are you? Why are you holding my hand?” She asks me, eyes filled with confusion.
“Mom, it’s me, your daughter.”
She struggles to focus her eyes on mine.
I can see her inner turmoil.
She stares out the window again.
Still she fixates upon something unseen.
My heart shatters into a million pieces that plummet to the floor.
Who is this shell of a person that occasionally floats into consciousness
Only to disappear like a vapor?
Oh God, please hear my prayer.
Just a glimmer.
Just give me a glimmer of who she used to be.
I feel her hand brush against mine.
A tear slips down her ashen cheek.
“I’m glad you came today, sweetheart,” she says, without looking at me.
Drawing a deep breath, I manage to whisper,
“So am I.”