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  • by Carolyn Lackey

Wishing for You


I was grateful that I didn't encounter any of Meems' caregivers as I walked down the hall of Wedgewood South after leaving her room this afternoon. Most days, I check in with them on my way in or out to see how they think Mom is doing. But, this afternoon my eyes were welling with tears and a huge lump was gathering in my gullet. If I had seen one of them, I couldn't have uttered a word to explain my impending ugly cry.

Meems was asleep all cozy in her bed when I arrived. I knelt beside her with my face level to hers and began rubbing her back. Her eyes opened slowly, and she gently smiled.

"I...was...wishing...for...you...to...come," she said laboring over the simplest of appropriate words.

"Awww. That's sweet! I was wishing to see you," I replied.

She moved her right hand slowly over to her left hand which is permanently frozen into a fist. Then, she painstakingly began to lift each finger up just a bit so that she could retrieve something from the arthritic clasp.

"I...saved...you...a...piece...of...candy," she whispered wiggling her pointer up underneath the opening she had made in her left fist.

I could see that there was nothing hidden there in the palm of her hand.

"I don't think it's there, Mom," then, I teased, "you must have forgotten and eaten it."

Her brow wrinkled a bit as she continued to search her palm. I lowered my head so that my ear was only a few inches from her mouth so that I could hear her.

"I...was...wishing...for...you...to...come...I...knew...you'd...be...proud...of...me...for...saving...you...a...piece...of...candy. It's...the...kind...that...comes...from...Hershey...Pennsylvania...I...guess...I ...forgot...and...ate...it."

She wanted to make me proud.

Let that one soak in for a minute.

This woman who can do absolutely nothing for herself wanted to make me proud.

"Oh, I AM proud of you, Mom! You were the best mom ever! You made all of our clothes. You taught school every day and then came home and made dinner. You came to all my dance and piano recitals. You were always there for me."

"That's...what...good...mothers...do," she replied in a fleeting moment of clarity.

Then, she continued searching her palm for the candy she saved for me as I sat on the bed beside her rubbing her back.

"I...was...wishing...for...you...to...come...I...knew...you'd...be...proud...of...me...for...saving...you...a...piece...of...candy."

She said this no less that 5 times during my short visit. As I got up to leave, I kissed her cheek and raised her bedrails.

"I love you, Mom! I'll see you tomorrow!" I said walking towards her door.

Her lips began to move, so I quickly stepped to her bedside to hear her parting words.

"I...love...you...I...was...wishing...for...you...to...come...I...knew...you'd...be...proud...of...me...for...saving...you...a...piece...of...candy."

All of a sudden, the words washed over me like an emotional tidal wave. I ducked my head and quickly walked out to the parking lot. In the car, tears began to flow.

I guess if you still want people to be proud of you, it's a sign that you still care about people.

Oh, Missy Meems. We care about you. You matter to us. And, we wish for you.


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