“Can I have a drink of water?” she asks. I know by now it’s simply her way of retaining my attention, but I look into her trusting, loving eyes, and I can’t deny her yet another drink of water, even though the bed will be wet in the morning, and I realize there will be a spill. I always happens
When I give her water she says she’s cold, and so I cover her better and set up the humidifier. She thanks me sweetly for the water and asks if I will lie on the bed beside her for a minute, that’s she’s still cold. I lay beside her and wrap my arms around her and let her know everything’s going to be okay. I know she’s frightened. I don’t know how to belay her fears besides letting her know I love her.
“See that picture up there on the wall?” she asks. “Who is that?
Because she cannot walk, I bring the picture down and show it to her. There’s her brother Charlie, her brother Irwin celebrating my birthday party. I was three at the time. Mom was almost 33. You do the math.
How many times has she brought me water when I wanted a little more attention at night? How many times have I crawled into bed and had my mother’s loving warms wrap around me and let me know it’s going to be okay?
It’s my turn. She’s afraid, and I can do nothing but make sure as many of her fears, her confusion, the symptoms of her dementia are belayed, and she knows she’s loved, and that I have no doubt her fears will come to nothing. It’s a blessing beyond anything I ever expected in this time of our lives. It will stay with me forever.