Hi Mary June, It's me Lori

Part III At Mom's new care center. As I write my name in the visitors log book, I scan through the pages, hoping to see a familiar signature, one who'm Id know that has come to see Mom, as it's been a week and a half since I saw her last. Sadness and guilt tore through me, as there were none, :( I take note of the not so pleasant smells and a couple of screaming residents begging for help. My eyes begin to tear, and heartbreak hits me once again. The halls look so dreary, I am determined to get her out in the sunshine. I peak through her door and she is laying in bed sound asleep. I quietly pull up a chair and sit next to her. I gaze at her face just as I remember sneaking into her room as a child at night from being afraid and staring at her in the same way, hoping she'd lift the covers enough for me to crawl in bed next to her. She then begins to wake, I get up to greet her and smile as big as I can, "Hi Mary June, it's me Lori" I've resorted to calling her Mary June as I don't want to confuse her anymore as she no longer knows me as her daughter, she smiles. "I've come to take you outside, fresh air" this makes me happy, as it relinquishes my guilt. She mumbles, "Well, then, okay" I'm pleasantly surprised, I have learned even though her words no longer form complete sentences, If I nod, smile and agree, she's there beaming with a beautiful smile and a whole lotta love! Looking back through the year, I used to feel sorry for myself, that 'my mother', my own mother has forgotten me, but I know now as I look into her eyes, feel her warm cheek against mine, or hold her hand, or hum a gentle hymn together, that even though her memory of me is gone, she still has SO MUCH LOVE to give, and for that I am grateful.

Lori Andrews
Phoenix, AZ