“I want to keep you forever,” my mom says, holding my hand and lifting it to her heart. We’re walking the corridors of the Hebrew Home, having just visited the bird cage, on our way to see the fish tank. She seems genuinely happy, and she’s relishing our time together.
It reminds me of the rare times we spent alone together when I was a child, like when she walked me home from school my first week in kindergarten. I loved when it was just the two of us, when my sisters weren’t stealing her attention and she was focused on me and not on my father, or cleaning, or making dinner. I loved having her all to myself.
These days, we’re reliving our original relationship in so many ways, except now I’m the parent, and she’s the child. At least that’s how it seems to me; our relationship is not always so clear to her.
Yesterday, for a moment, she didn’t know who I was.
“Are you my sister?” she asked me as I sat in front of her. “What’s your name?”
The time I spend with my mom now is all the more precious because I don’t know how long our relationship will last.