One, one, one…

Her eyes are deep in her face and her skin is still so very soft.

My mothers eyes are holding their intensity and seemed on the verge of tears.

I watched her watch me today. Her gaze intent on something. I could not tell if she knew who I was.

I just don’t know.

I spent time pushing her beautiful grey hair, so silken, behind her ears and kissed her forehead gently.

I wore lipstick today. I wore lipstick and each kiss left a mark.

I rubbed the lipstick into her skin and spoke softly to her, “Its me Mommy, Jennifer, your daughter.”

Her skin is still so soft and her gaze so intense.

I watched her watch me and wondered what she knows or does not know.

She is not taking fluids now. My mother is not taking fluids or any form of nutrition.

I found her favorite stuffed animal, a grey kitty wearing grey kitty slippers.

My mother took the animal and held it close to her face. She held the stuffed animal with great care

and tremendous love.

Mommy kept her gaze on me while she petted her kitty.

Her eyes are lacking the angry glare now and there is relief and there is  sadness in that.

It is perhaps the first time in my life I have not felt openly judged by my mother.

That brings relief.

It is the first time she has looked so deeply into me and I am left with doubt: did she know who I was?

Was the judgement gone only because she does not remember to hate me?

There is sadness in that.

Her arms and legs have always been thin; like mine, now they are something almost skeletal.

I left her with her kitty.

I left with my friend Wendy through the locked door of the secured unit of my mother’s nursing home.

You push 1 and # at the same time on a keypad and the door  opens

and then you are free.

I will call the nurse tomorrow. I will hear her out and we will go from there.

My mothers hair and my mother’s skin is so soft to the touch.

My mothers eyes are intense and she watched me watch her.

I said to her, “I love you Mommy.”

I said that and today I meant it.

We walked through the door and I found my self counting:

one, one, one…

This one visit is the first visit of the last visits.

One, one, one…

How many more?

 How many more?

That is the question now, how many more times will I touch my mothers very soft skin?

How many more times will I feel free to say, “I love you,Mommy,”

and mean it?

~ by Step On a Crack on November 14, 2011.

13 Responses to “One, one, one…”

  1. Thinking of you in these hard hard days. Finding love in everything that is messy and muddled and imperfect takes a lot of courage, a lot of grit – but personally I think it is always worth the effort.


    • You, my friend, are so right! I love the words you use. The imagery sums it all up so well. Thank you for being here and for so deeply understanding. It makes a world of difference to me and hence to my mother. You are impacting my life. Hugs to you. Jen


  2. you are blessed by an open heart. the Beatles had it right. love is all you need.


    • Hello there! A good friend passed about a year ago. 94 years old and ready to go, his last words were, after days of silence, “I say, Love is enough…”

      Bobs death was one of the most inspiring things I have had the honor to witness.

      Bob and the Beatles: both right.

      Bless you for being here Kristine! My love to you and your cutie bug, xxx. Jen


  3. Those are the same thoughts I have when seeing my mom. Will it be the last? Or, the last time she is comfortable with me? She didn’t know me as her daughter my last visit but she was comfortable with me.

    Keep writing your heart, dear one. Your words will give hope to many as we all find our way in our journeys.


  4. Oh, how we love you and pray for you.


  5. You write so beautifully Jennifer. My mood swings with your writing. Sometimes i hate your mom … sometimes i love her and her soft skin, and her little kitty just as much as you do. I feel entrenched — in your war of emotions — love, compassion, confusion, anger. Simply beautifully written. Loving heart,… melis


  6. “I said to her, ‘I love you Mommy.’
    I said that and today I meant it.”

    …as in 1% forgiveness?

    Perhaps you reached the goal you’d set for yourself.


    • Al,

      I responded in a post. I am spending some time looking back; it is easy to forget the journey. Thank you. I mean thank you so very much for THIS comment (all of them and your blogs… but…) This comment, looking back now, was the tipping point for me the day my mom died. YOU made a difference in my life and in my mothers death.

      Bless you. Thank Bus # 59 for you my friend.

      Peace, Jen


  7. beautiful, simply beautiful. It sounds like forgiveness found you; don’t question it or belittle it, simply be in it and feel it.

    You deserve for this to go well and I am thankful that today it did!


  8. I feel for you. There truly is a fine line between love and hate. An alcoholic mother tends to sit with one foot on both sides of that line. I am glad that for today you felt love. I hope that will stay with you for awhile. You have a lot of people in your corner and you despite her faults are in your mom’s corner. That is something you should be proud of. Looking past it all and still seeing love is a reason to be proud.


    • I could not respond for some time to this and I know you understand. YOU nailed it. That was the last NICE time with Mommy and maybe, lets be honest, the first. I know you know this.

      thank you thank you thank you

      for being here and getting this so deeply. Your words have meant the world to me.

      Happy Trails!



  9. […] Grace. […]


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