Holding Hands

{by Varda of The Squashed Bologna}

{photo credit}

Today my mother was tired when I stopped in to visit, to take her downstairs to lunch. And while many a day I will coax and cajole, force her to rouse herself, to rise to the occasion, today I didn’t. I let her be.

Do you know why? Because I was tired, too.

So I didn’t make her make an effort, make her rise and dress, put in her teeth. I did hand her her hearing aid, however, to make conversation less about shouting and guessing.

And then I laid down beside her on the big, now half-empty bed and held her hand.

And we talked.

About the little things; about everything and nothing.

I told her how we had just this morning measured Ethan, to find he had grown a full half-inch in a month.

She patted her head and mine, proclaimed us both lucky in our luxuriant curly hair.

I talked to her about Jacob. “He’s still autistic, isn’t he?”

“Oh, yes, that’s for certain.”

Her eyes soften, wishing there were something she could do, finding nothing.

“But he’s doing well? He’s in a good school?”

“Yes, Mom, very well, and a very good school. He wants to see you. I’ll bring him by soon.”

I haven’t brought Jake to see my Mom since I put her cat Willie down last week. For a quite a while before that even, as he was growing quite frail.

Jake loved that cat, will have a hard time with him gone. I’m not ready to handle that. Not yet.

“Haven’t found me a man yet, have you?”

“Nope, Mom. They’re either too old, too young or too… dull.”

She nods in agreement, knows my father will be a hard act to follow. Yet, still, she longs for companionship.

We lay side by side, a short arms reach apart as I know she had lain for 51 years with my father on many a morning and evening (and, in their later, retired and tired years, an afternoon, too) talking about everything and nothing, the easy rhythms of intimacy.

I know this well in my own life, with my husband (though in these frantic years of still young children, our quietly together times are much fewer and farther between) and with my son Ethan who jealously hoards his bedtime talking time with me, needing so much to process his day before releasing it to slumber. (Not an easy sleeper, this one, not at all.)

I held my mothers hand. We talked of this and that, and then we drifted off into sleep; took a little nap, side by side, our fingertips a bridge from daughter to mother.

“I’m going to be 89 soon,” she’d said, “Imagine that.”

“I can. I do. I’m no spring chicken myself, you know.”

“I plan to make it to 100.” Then, shaking her head, “Not likely.”

“Why not?” I asked “Why not?’

She smiled.

We napped.

I woke first, slipped my hand from her now lax fingers, stepped into the kitchen to do a little cleaning up after my formerly fastidious mother who now sees no dirt.

Came back to wake her, to say goodbye. (There were groceries to purchase, children to retrieve from schools.)

But first I sat softly on the bed, gently clasped her hand once again, leaned over to gaze at her barely lined, still youthfully smooth face; whispered quietly, beneath the threshold of her dimmed hearing: “Why not, 100? Why not?”

::

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Story Editor: Heather King ::: @HeatheroftheEO

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32 Comments to “Holding Hands”

  1. Holding Hands, featuring @squashedmom. Imagining 89, even 100. Yet another wonderful find by @heatheroftheeo http://t.co/kx4fvznC

  2. Varda says:

    Holding Hands, featuring @squashedmom. Imagining 89, even 100. Yet another wonderful find by @heatheroftheeo http://t.co/kx4fvznC

  3. Deb Rox says:

    Beautiful writing to read with your morning coffee @storybleed by @squashedmom. http://t.co/qVg2JHTV

  4. Beautiful writing to read with your morning coffee @storybleed by @squashedmom. http://t.co/qVg2JHTV

  5. Holding Hands | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/TLIsmAUz via @storybleed

  6. RT @GDRPempress: Holding Hands | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/fYw432W9 via @storybleed

  7. I can never read that one too many times. Gorgeous. RT @debontherocks: Beautiful writing @storybleed by @squashedmom. http://t.co/TLIsmAUz

  8. RT @GDRPempress: Holding Hands | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/fYw432W9 via @storybleed

  9. Jennifer Lee says:

    Holding Hands | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/TLIsmAUz via @storybleed

  10. Fridita
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is absolutely lovely. Thank you.

  11. RT @storybleed: Holding Hands, featuring @squashedmom. Imagining 89, even 100. http://t.co/UHbKaQN6 BEAUTIFUL must-read

  12. Dhyann says:

    I love holding hands with my loved ones especially to my kids.. It can be the simplest thing we can show love to people..

  13. I <3 this story! Holding Hands | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/lQLCplrP via @storybleed

  14. Galit Breen
    Twitter:
    says:

    Lovely, transparent slice of your day (and heart).
    Galit Breen recently posted..What Do You Speak For?

  15. Varda says:

    Beautiful writing to read with your morning coffee @storybleed by @squashedmom. http://t.co/qVg2JHTV

  16. Robin Dance says:

    Holding Hands, featuring @squashedmom. Imagining 89, even 100. Yet another wonderful find by @heatheroftheeo http://t.co/kx4fvznC

  17. Galit Breen says:

    .@squashedmom's post on @StoryBleed is a stunning slice of her life, and heart – http://t.co/l4rjBbmr

  18. Amy Wilson says:

    Today @storybleed is featuring "Holding Hands" by@squashedmom. you can hear it live this wkd at @ltymshow NYC! http://t.co/wEJujIb2

  19. Holding Hands, featuring @squashedmom. Imagining 89, even 100. Yet another wonderful find by @heatheroftheeo http://t.co/QmTULWcu

  20. Tricia says:

    Holding Hands | Story Bleed Magazine http://t.co/CY0BTJen via @storybleed

  21. this was beyond lovely. you really captured the intimacy of the moment.
    amanda {the habit of being} recently posted..the story of you

  22. Gisselle says:

    You have captured the great moment here.. Holding hands with the people you love is very important and a sign of love and respect..

  23. Alyssa Cornish says:

    It is amazing how such a simple act can communicate love – it is one of my favorite things to do.

  24. FennyPenny
    Twitter:
    says:

    Beautiful, gentle, simple grace.

  25. Holding Hands, featuring @squashedmom. Imagining 89, even 100. Yet another wonderful find by @heatheroftheeo http://t.co/QmTULWcu

  26. Marjorie says:

    Awesome story love it. happy mothers day to all mommy.

  27. suzzie says:

    You are a nice daughter and your mother must be very proud to have you

  28. Sharon says:

    I am crying when I look this picture I remember my grandmother I am holding her hands in times of her dying.

  29. Lilly Kai says:

    Wow this is really touching! And the picture is beautifui. I pinned it immediately.
    Thanks

  30. Andy Staunt says:

    This is very touching moment together with your mom. It is very important to show every single day how much we love our mom.

  31. Philomena says:

    Elders often sanctioned such raids, blessing the raiders before they set off.
    I immersed myself in that situation, so I
    could play the character more naturally, instead of forcing it on.

    You’re that kid from second year everyone talks about.
    Philomena recently posted..Philomena

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