A Peaceful Afternoon

I walked in to at least half of her closet strewn across her bed, piles and piles of clothes, layers deep.

“Hey, Mom! What’s going on here?”
“Well, I had to do something.”
“Okie-dokie. Should we hang your clothes up?”

And piece by piece, we hung each sweater, shirt, jacket, and pair of pants on a hanger and placed it back in her closet. With each piece, I’d comment, “Oooh. This one is really pretty.” And she’d respond, “I’ve had that for a hundred years.”

Once the bed was clear of clothing, she motioned for me to sit down next to her.

“I need to talk to you, Lori.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Now, the folks here are mighty nice, and they’re gracious, and I don’t have a problem with that, but I’m ready to go back to our little house.”
I nodded.
“Could we do that?”
“Yes, I think we can arrange that.”
“Are you sure?”
And she relaxed. We sat there, sun shining down on us, when she pointed.

“Those are my clothes in the closet.”
“How’d they get there?”
“I brought them.”
“You did?”
A few more minutes of silence passed.

“Did you live here?”
“Hmm. You bought this place?”
I did.”
“Well, that was not a good decision.”
A few more minutes of silence passed.

“Should we work on your journal together?”

I gathered up her scissors, multiple rolls of tape, newspapers, and a notebook, and we sat side by side on her bed. She held up a page of the newspaper, then started cutting out an article. Or part of an article. Or an ad. Or a picture. She’d carefully place it on the page in her notebook, sometimes right side up and sometimes wrong side up, and I’d hand her a piece of clear tape. We worked like this for an hour or so. Gratefulness washed over me. Here was Mom, thoroughly engrossed in an activity that she enjoyed, and there was no visible anxiety. There was just cutting, and arranging, and taping. No talking; Mom was intent on her project. I leaned over and hugged her tightly.

“I love you, Mom.”
“I love you, too, sweetie.” 

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