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  • by Carolyn Lackey

Absolute Very Best


When the boys were little, not a day went by that one of them didn't say something funny.

"I'll bet you don't even BELIEVE in the Statue of Liberty!" declared the freedom fighter that didn't want to stay in his room for a time out.

"Mom! You are NOT 'sponserible for me and my zipper!" Short zipper. Long story.

"I keep flushin' and flushin' and the toilet doesn't have the thrength to take it all down!" No comment.

They are all grown men now. Yes, they are still funny. It's just not the same.

But then, there's Meems. Sometimes she says the darndest things. Today was one of those darndest days.

She was sound asleep with her mouth curled down in a sleep frown when I lowered the rail on her bed and sat down by her tummy with her legs curled towards me.

As always, always, always when she opened her little nap eyes and saw that I was the one invading her space, her face released the sweetest smile. "You're here," she stated as a matter of fact. Her mouth is very dry these days, she can't enunciate very well, and her voice is little more than a whisper. It was almost like a sweet sigh. "You're here." Whisper it. See what I mean?

All of the following took place over the course of about 30 minutes. She continued in the same low voice with sloppy pronunciation painstakingly uttering each sentence like a wounded cowboy in a Western movie, "The...gold...is........buried..... The...gold...is.....buried.........in....."

She continued. "Are you cooking?"

"Nope! Are you?" I replied.

"No. I want to buy a small car, but they probably wouldn't let me drive it because I'm legally blind."

"Probably not."

"They're not very organized around here [her very well-run assisted living facility]. We weren't sure what we were going to have for breakfast. Then, they made volunteers cook everything, and they still don't know what they're going to have for lunch. You and I make good menus, don't we?"

"How was the food that the volunteers cooked?" Inquiring minds want to know.

"Not very good. About like usual."

She rambled and repeated for the next thirty minutes all curled around me on the bed with her head snuggly resting on her pillow with the pink satin pillow case and her tiny hands poised softly on my leg.

"The lady said orange. I don't like orange." It took me a minute to realize that she was referring to her coral nail polish. A former art teacher good and well knows the difference between coral and orange.

When it came time for me to head back to the house to finish up washing all the towels I used to dry up the river of water that flowed from the sink in my laundry room a while earlier - turns out that leaving a faucet running to fill a sink so you can hand wash your husband's cashmere sweater and walking away because the timer on the microwave signaled that your soup is hot is a bad idea - well, when it came time for me to leave, she said the very best thing to me. The absolute very best.

"I'm glad you came. It sure didn't seem like Christmas until you got here."


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