Monday, February 20, 2012

A Mother's Touch

I kept waking up last night. Over and over and over.

Each time I awoke I would realize I was awake because, for some reason, someone kept setting fire to my throat.

I would suck down some water, which I NEVER keep at my bedside, but for some reason I did last night, and I would close my eyes and try to drift back to dreamland.

I made that trip a *blue-million* times last night, or so it seemed.

I hardly ever get sick. For real.

There have been times when I have allowed myself to become so tired that I would actually think I was sick. But then, with some much needed rest, I would feel as good as new.

I went into work after my alarm didn't go off. And, my alarm didn't go off because I decided to try this new app on my phone which plays these wonderful, life-like sounds to send you careening on the sleepy time bus with the next stop of your journey the beloved dreamland.

What sound did I choose for this journey?

A fan.

I know. Crazy since my ceiling fan was buzzing away. But it did help to drown out some of the other noises I am exposed to each night, which I will not share with the readers at large.

But, unfortunately, for some reason, this app also shut my alarm down.

Which made me late getting up. Which made me late getting started. Which made me late leaving for work.....ok, you get the picture.

I arrived at work, still not feeling right.

By about 3pm I threw in the towel and came home to crawl in bed.

What I am about to say now will probably shock you.

I do realize I am 45 years old. I am well aware of every. single. year.

For whatever reason, whenever I feel the slightest bit under the weather, I still long for my Mama.


I said it.

It's out there.

With the first sign of an ailment I can feel my bottom lip begin to pooch out just as it did when I fell off the swing set at 4 years old and I long for my Mama to kiss me and make everything better.

I had surgery a little while back. I had to go to a meeting a few days after about 2 hours away. By the time I got back home that night I felt horrible. My daughter happened to be at the house with one of her friends.

I related the events of the day.

As soon as we got home from the surgery, my husband contracted what appeared to be a stomach virus.

I was telling one of the ladies about that when she was asking me how I was feeling. And then, out of nowhere I said, "I guess I should go stay with my Mama tonight!"

As soon as the words were out it hit me and I retreated to the bathroom with my lip dragging the ground and fought back the tears that were threatening to embarrass me.

I came in, feeling terrible, and began to tell my daughter. To my dismay, I broke down like a four year old that had just fallen off a swing set and said, "I want my Mama!"

My daughter bundled me up in her arms and drug me to bed, putting me in one of my Mama's silky nightgowns and kissing my forehead.

When she arrived back in the living room, her friend, in her discomfort at having witnessed my tantrum, said, "I should probably go."

My sweet daughter offered her the only reassurance she could.

"It's really OK," she said, "You get used to living with grief."

Next month will be 2 years since my Daddy died. And, in June my Mama will have also been gone 2 years. I can hardly fathom it. It seems so surreal.

So, here I am. Up out of my sick bed, pounding away at the keyboard with my body aches and low grade temp, longing for something that I will never have again.

No one can stroke your brow like Mama, or kiss away your boo-boo's as her lips can.

I am here tonight when I should be snuggled down in my comfy bed longing for the touch of my mother, just one more time.

Sometimes, for a while, I can pretend all is well in my world, and they are out there somewhere, happy and safe.

And I know they are. I know they are.

But, there are times that I (ME- that little girl who was born to 2 people who loved her all those years ago) just become consumed with the missing.

And I do miss them.

To all you Mama's out there. Take some advise from my own Mama. Don't ever stop being a Mama. Yes, they grow up. Yes, they move on. Yes, they have their own lives, their own families.

But, sometimes, just for a minute, they need to have their hair stroked even if there isn't much of it left.

And they need to have their cheeks kissed, even if there is much more of them than there used to be.

And they need to have their back rubbed or lay their head in your lap and have you run your fingers through their hair.

It doesn't matter how old you are, you never stop needing to be mothered.

When we arrived at the funeral home to fix my mother's hair, it wasn't the set of her face that broke me, it wasn't the stillness of her chest.

It was the coldness of her hands. And the knowledge she would never touch me again. Never.

Tonight, as I prepare to lumber back up to bed, I feel the loss of that touch so keenly.

I would that I could tell her how very much her love meant to me.

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