She holds the sleeping baby boy in her lap admiring his cherub features. The sun slipped through the bay window embracing her like a warm hug on that chilly May afternoon. Memories of motherhood crept in her mind, and although those memories were now in bits and pieces, the sparks were still enough to ignite and warm her heart. Her frail hands touched the newborn’s clenched fist as his tiny hand momentarily uncurled and he grasped her finger in his palm.
The newborn smelled sweet, like warm summer skin, Dreft, and sugared milk. Immediately her senses perked up and transported her to a time when she was nursing her own baby. Though the mind may forget certain people, places, and things, it can never forget motherhood.Christina Zambrano-The Joyful Ginger Blogs
Those memories and moments are woven into the inner most parts of our brains where they are kept safe from a disease and the very real threat of being erased.
Her eyes told of stories my ears longed to hear and my mind longed to understand. An invisible language barrier sat between us like the Hoover Dam. Given the chance to be broken down would her stories gush out from her lips to my ears? I regret not taking the time to learn the language before her stories were ripped away from her forever.
As the pages on the calendar were torn away so was her memory. It’s starts out slow, a detail here and there, and eventually speeds up until family becomes strangers to her eyes. Her mind transforms my husband into a visiting doctor instead of a grown man visiting his abuelita.
How frustrating and fearful this disease must make a person feel. It’s torture for the loved ones to witness. We ask them to remember, we beg of it, we plead for it, we pray for it. It comes on good days scattered among the mess. Small lucid moments that we cling to with joy. Let them sit in these moments with peace in their hearts.
A few years later during a visit I watch her watching the children play. Once again the mid afternoon sun is offering it’s embrace. A smile forms out of the corner of her thin lips and I catch a glimmer of joy in her eyes. In that moment was she back in Colombia watching her young children run around their home? Could she still hear the laughter and the potter patter of children feet?
Though the mind may forget certain people, places, and things, it will always remember motherhood.