I talked to my mom on Christmas. As we were sitting down to eat our Christmas lunch, the phone rang. Michael wanted to know if I wanted to say hi to Mom.
Michael held the phone for her, and I told her “Merry Christmas”.
There was no response.
So I said it again, louder. “Merry Christmas Mom!”
Still no response.
Keely was standing there, so I smiled at her and handed her the phone. “Tell Grandma Merry Christmas”
“Merry Christmas Grandma! I love you!”
Keely held the phone, waiting for an answer. I knew it wouldn’t come, so I took the phone, smiling all the time so that Keely would think everything was OK.
Michael got on the phone and told me that this was not a good day. She was very confused.
It’s the first Christmas that I can remember saying Merry Christmas to my mom, and not hearing her voice replying “Merry Christmas Michelle”
I think about all of those Christmas days I had with her. Fifty four of them. I think about the love and laughter shining out of her eyes as she was surrounded by her family. We would joke with her about her terrible cooking and she would laugh in agreement. We kids started doing the cooking out of self defense, we wanted to be able to eat something palatable on holidays. The food was not important to her, the family coming together was. She was always happiest when there was a big bunch of people milling around. She loved and welcomed us all. But she really loved the little kids. Nothing made her happier than having a baby or two on her lap.
I hope, while the fog is overtaking her, that there is a place in her mind that replays all those happy times.