Monday, October 10, 2011


My mother has been in her new place for two months now.  We have each established our patterns, she with her daily rituals and me with my visits.  Our visits are largely silent.  She sleeps much more since the move and it is a rare day that I catch her with eyes open.  Angus has memorized the sound of my jingling keys and eagerly greets me upon entering the building.  He follows me to her room, anticipation of a treat causing him to drool all the way down the hall.  My mother pays no mind to Angus or to me for that matter.  I touch her hand softly and kiss her forehead.....she eyes this stranger who dares get so familiar and utters a puzzled thank you.  However polite her thanks cuts to the bone.  Our pattern is not without it's sorrow.
I have taken up knitting since her move.  I know only one stitch and how to make a scarf.  I now have a drawer full of future Christmas presents (sorry about ruining the surprise), each one knit in her presence and held to her cheek for a small gift of texture and softness.  When I cleaned out her house two years ago, I found drawers full of my clumsily made cards, pot holders and artwork from my childhood.  I offer up my scarves as continued proof of our relationship.
She is treated well in her new place.  When they enter her room to change her diaper, I flee to the hallway.  Ashamed at myself who cannot bear this ritual and sadness for her that it is so.  I cast off my hopes of her recovery....I cast on a tougher outer shell.  Welcome to the new normal.