It has only been a few weeks since my last visit, but I notice how frail she has become during my absence. The sheer futility of it all tugs at my heartstrings, and for a moment it renders me speechless. But I need to accept the inevitable: my mother is very ill.
She gradually opens her eyes and looks up at me with a puzzled expression on her face. Her knuckles turn white as she grips the armrests of her chair. I hesitate, and then I walk over. I smile, lean down, and I press my cheek against hers just as she did when I was a little girl, and I didn’t feel well.
“Hello mother,” I whisper in her ear. She tilts her head sideways, looks at me, and she begins to shiver. I wonder if she is cold so I take a wool shawl out of her bedside drawer, and I wrap it around her shoulders. I kiss her on the forehead and then look her in the eyes. I search for a sign of recognition.
She appears utterly helpless and alone as she sits in her chair. I wrap my arms around her, and I hold her close.
“Do I know you?”
My eyes sting with unshed tears. “Yes,” I say, and I immediately turn my head.