I've been trying not to mention it. To not go on about it in the real world, because if I talk about it, my throat balloons and my eyes float in high tides. Most people close to me don't know. I've only been telling you.
I walked into her hospital room today and her mouth was slack and she was staring at the television, her eyes open, watery.
I asked her how she was.
Her response was raspy. "I can't talk," she gasped.
I thought about the time in therapy, when I realized the only time my mother touched me was when I was sick. She would put her small hand on my forehead to check my temperature, and I would marvel at the softness, not knowing I had been waiting since last flu season to feel it. That I had been waiting for my mother's magic healing caress.
A child subconsciously craves their mother's hand. You don't know you are until you get it and then inexplicably exhale.
I sat next to her and put my hand on her forehead. It's okay, Mom. We don't have to talk. I'll just sit with you for a while.
I placed my hand on her forehead, smoothing her hair back down, over and over again.
Let this help you feel better. Let this heal you.
I am here, I am here.