When you think about special places for creating bonds and memories, what comes to mind? The beach, a lakeside campground, a favorite restaurant, someone’s kitchen or back porch, maybe? The antiseptic environment of a hospital emergency room wouldn’t rank high on my list.
And yet, here we were. Again. Multiple times over the last eight months, I’d grabbed a bag (now prepacked), thrown it in the car, and made the hour-long drive to my parents’ house in under 45 minutes after the caregiver on duty had called, alarmed at my mother’s deteriorating condition.
Pulling her list of meds from my purse, I slid it under the acrylic partition to the attendant. “This is my mother,” I explained, signing forms on autofill. “She’s the only one I have, so take good care of her.”
Though unable to communicate verbally, my mom smiled at me with eyes soft and blue as a baby blanket, telegraphing absolute trust. I put my arm around her, and she rested her head on my shoulder, childlike, wrapped in our own quiet cocoon of love.
Undesired and unbidden, these are moments I cherish now.