Perhaps you can relate?

Mama likes to talk.

This is a random and new thing for her.

Unlike my kids, I’m not used to a talking Mama.

When I woke her for her 5 a.m. meds this morning, Mama said, “I thought you were going to talk with me earlier. (Mama was referencing the 2 a.m. med time)Your sister always did.”

Comparing one child to another has long been a useful form of getting one child to do what the others would not. I’ve used that trick myself a time or two.

But I’m older and wiser now.

“Sister Tater talked to you at 2 a.m.? I thought you all did devotions and talked at 5 a.m.. I’m not in a talking mood before that Mama.”

My mother has told the family more stories in the past three weeks than she did in a lifetime of living.

This morning she told me about an Easter dress she made me. She didn’t have much money but she wanted me to have a new dress, so she took a pair of pillowcases with scalloped edges and made me a dress from them. She said it was a beautiful dress and I believe her. Mama has always been able to take a scrap and turn out something beautiful with it. I can’t sew a lick.

As I was tucking her back in bed after her meds, Mama took my face into her hands — something else quite new to me, this overt physical affection, something I yearned for as a child, as a teenager, as a young mom myself but is now oddly disconcerting after a lifetime of being raised by a woman who equated being strong with reserve and restraint. Anyway, like I was saying, she took my face into her hands and with those piercing brown eyes of hers said, “You always worried that I didn’t love you. I have always loved you, Karen. I wanted to choke you sometimes but I’ve always loved you.”

Quit laughing.

I told Mama not to worry about it. I felt the exact same way about her.

Okay. Now you can laugh.



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