March 16, 2015: Mom’s hands nestle in the cradles of mine. Her touch is light. She puts one foot in front of the other with hardly any hesitation. As she steps forward, I step back – watching, feeling, sensing.
“You’re walking so well today Mom,” I observe.
“Yeah I’ll be walking right right right right right right right right right RIGHT!” She builds to a crescendo.
“Yes,” I chuckle. “That was quite a few rights, Mom.”
“Yeah I know,” she agrees. We stop talking. Focus on taking a few steps. Then a few more.
“You’re practically walking on your own,” I say.
“Yeah, I am.” I love her ferocity. I’m glad it lives in me. It will remind me of her when she’s gone.
“You saw what I was writing,” she says.
“What?” How does she know these things? It blows my mind.
“You saw what I was writing.”
“I did,” I agree. I match her steps ahead with my own in reverse. We advance and retreat for several short, steady paces.
“You saw I was writing books,” she continues.
“You were writing books?”
“Wow! Do you know what the title is going to be?”
“Do you have any ideas about what the title is going to be?”
“Yeah. I went with ideas,” she says.
“Good,” I say. “That sounds like a good title: ‘Mom’s Ideas.”
“Mom’s Ideas,” she parrots. Her hands remain like feathers in mine. Her feet are firm on the floor. Her legs are solid.
“How do you feel?” I check in.
“Feel fine,” she says without a doubt.
“Do you wanna keep walking?”
“Yeah. I wanna keep walking.” Unequivocal again. I decide to double check anyway.
“Do you want to sit down?”
“No,” she says.
“Okay, let’s keep walking then.”
“I want to go with you,” she says.
“I want to go with you.”
“I know you do,” I say. My voice cracks a little.
“‘Cause I like you to to to to to…” She can’t quite find the words.
“To what Mom?”
“To to to to to to to to….do the skating with me.” I laugh. Then she laughs too. We share the absurdity of the situation and the fact that skating has everything and nothing to do with this moment in this place at this time.
“We’ll go skating. Like a couple of ducks on a pond,” I kid with her. She doesn’t know I wrote about her storytelling to my younger cousins when they were little girls. Yet somehow she does. Another dip into intuitive clairvoyance.
“Yeah, like on a pond,” she goes with it. We glide along imaginary ice instead of getting stuck on worn wooden floorboards.
“Okay,” I say. “Let’s keep rolling.”
And we do. Against all odds. Despite everything.
March 16, 2015