Before I begin, I will apologize for this post. While I liked the posts I wrote this week, they left me a little depressed. I guess that’s what happens when one’s baby gets put in a cast! As a result, I decided to use one of Mama Kat’s writing prompts as a chance to lighten the mood.
4.) Read the quote and let it inspire your post: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. -Maya Angelou
Caleb held the door for his sisters as they walked into the bright room. Sun streamed through the blinds on the back window. As they approached the desk, a woman stood and smiled.
“I’ll tell Elizabeth you are here.”
One minute later, Elizabeth wheeled their mother into the room; she was obviously expecting their arrival. “Look, Mrs. Davis,” she said cheerily. “You have visitors.”
“Hi, Mom,” Chloe said sweetly, bending down to kiss her mother on the cheek.
The old woman’s expression did not change, a straight line for lips, her eyes gray.
The brother and sister followed suit, and Caleb thanked Elizabeth while taking the handles of the wheelchair from her. As he pushed his mother into the den area, Hannah Grace walked over to blinds and closed the set to the left of the room. The family made their way to the familiar couch, passing the old man who had taken up his regular residence in the chair in front of the T.V.
The children smiled as they passed him, nodding ‘hello,’ while the old woman let out a barely audible, “hmmpf.” Caleb turned his mother’s wheelchair to fit in between the couches, and the three children sat.
“So, Mom,” Caleb began. “How are you feeling today?”
The old woman didn’t answer.
“Has Elizabeth taken you for any walks lately?” Hannah Grace inquired. “The weather has warmed up quite a bit.”
“Yeah, Mom,” Caleb agreed. “Everyone came out for Tyler’s baseball game yesterday, and it was such a nice day. He won his game, you know.”
“He did so well,” Chloe added. “The day was perfect for the game. The drizzle held off until just as we were leaving.”
Mrs. Davis offered a slight laugh, and the children looked at one another and smiled, hopeful for the interaction they craved from their mother.
“I told him it would rain,” she said quietly.
“I don’t think we talked about the game…” Caleb trailed off as his mother continued.
“He didn’t listen. He never did.”
“Who didn’t listen, Mom?” Chloe wondered if she remembered, if she could connect the dots in the memory forming.
“The trees were beautiful. Spanish moss covered our heads. But we ran, oh how we ran!” She laughed at the picture in her mind.
“He wanted to walk–where did he want to go?” She paused for a moment. “I don’t know,” she muttered quickly, “but we had to walk, and he didn’t know where he was going!” She looked at everyone and smiled.
“We walked and walked and had to turn around…oh!” She laughed again.
“Did it rain?” Chloe asked?
“Did it rain, Mom?” Hannah Grace continued. “You said before that you told him it would rain.”
“Oh. It lightninged!” A glimmer returned to her eyes. “We ran and ran because we thought the rain would pour on us.”
“Did it?” Caleb leaned forward, smiling.
Mrs. Davis looked down, searching for the answer. She didn’t know.
“We ran, and I thought we were going to get struck by lightning, and we laughed, even though I was a little afraid. He never ran so fast. I don’t think he ever ran much.” Her eyes were moist.
“Now wait a minute!”
Everyone looked up sharply, not expecting an interruption. The man in front of the T.V. stood up.
“I’ve run plenty! And I wasn’t slow!” The man was offended.
The children looked at one another, shocked that this was happening.
The old woman just stared, searching her memory. And then,
“Oh, please! You run one race, and now you think you’re an athlete!”
“Jennifer, your memory is fuzzy. I ran plenty, so don’t make me out to be some incompetent fool!”
“If the shoe fits!” she retorted.
“I can’t believe it,” Caleb whispered. “She’s remembering!”
“I’m going to get Elizabeth,” Hannah Grace said as she moved through the couches.
Chloe moved over and rested her hands on her mother’s shoulders.
“Now, Mom, try not to get too worked up. Dad, you need to take it easy; let’s see what else she can remember.”
“I can remember that your father is a fool!” Mrs. Davis yelled. “Who makes his wife walk miles in a lightning storm?!”
“It wasn’t lightning when we left, and we had a good time, Jennifer. We were together…” he trailed off.
“Yes, it was a good time,” she agreed softly.
Mr. Davis walked over from where he had been yelling across the room.
“You remember?” he asked, making his way to his wife.
“Yes,” she answered, as he took her hands in his. “Yes.”
Hannah Grace was back with Elizabeth, the other two siblings, tears streaming down their faces.
“Mrs. Davis, let me get you a glass of water,” Elizabeth offered.
“Elizabeth, move out of the way, please,” the old woman stated with authority. “Matt, let’s go. Take me to my room.”
“Mom, wait,” Hannah Grace said. “Let’s talk a little more; let’s visit.”
“I will see you kids later. Push me, Matt; let’s go!”
The old man grabbed her wheelchair, winking as he passed by his children.
“But…wait…Mom…Dad…” the children didn’t know what to do next, as they were left alone in the den.
Mr. Davis wheeled Mrs. Davis down the hall, and gently pushed open the second to last door on the right. He parked her wheelchair next to her bed.
Mrs. Davis raised a shaking hand to her grey locks, pinned in a bun, and let her long, straggly hair fall to her shoulders. Mr. Davis reached in her wheelchair and grabbed underneath her legs and behind her back, heaving her onto the bed. Both took out their dentures and placed them side by side on the night stand.
And they embraced.
And for the first time in a very long time, they remembered what it was like to make love. Or at least to try.
For a more thought-provoking post, please return tomorrow ready to link up your own post for Journeys responding to the following verse: “But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'” (Luke 18:16, New International Version, 2010).