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  • by Carolyn Lackey

Time in a Bottle

This photo sums up Meems' existence. She's become a cuddly lump of blankets in a hushed room with soft rays of sunlight filtering through the venetian blinds. Muffled sounds of other residents with their TVs tuned in to the Hallmark movie channel filter down the hall. But, in Meems' room, there is only deep, sweet sleep.

When I tiptoed into her room on this particular day, I paused. The words "time in a bottle" popped into my head.

This is my time with my mother gifted to me by God. It's a sanctuary of rarefied air. Nothing exists in this place but time and Meems.

Sometimes, I sit quietly with my latest book club novel. If I sit at her feet working on a crossword puzzle, sometimes she whispers, "You're sitting on my foot," meaning that the covers are pulled too tight by the weight of my body causing undo pressure on her little tootsie.

The caregivers often turn on her television when they put her down for a nap so that her "days" will be separate from her "nights." I enjoy the variety of programming they choose. The Price is Right. A Hallmark movie. The country western music channel. I usually switch it over to light classical music. Mom and I are not into country music. I've grown to enjoy watching a full episodes of Deal or No Deal and The Match Game in the quietness of her space.

Yesterday, there was just enough room beside her on the bed for me to sit with my back propped up on a pillow and my feet tucked under the covers next to her warm little body. I gently rubbed her back and asked, "Does this feel good to you?" She nodded. Yes, it did.

It's a transition of sorts for me. All of her needs are being well met by her caretakers. They have got this. All I have to do is bask in her presence while I still can.

"If I could save time in a bottle, The first thing that I'd like to do Is to save every day 'Til eternity passes away Just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever If words could make wishes come true I'd save every day like a treasure and then, Again, I would spend them with you."

These are sweet, sweet days. When I need to rest or recharge, I know exactly where to go.

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