An Unexpected Gift

Since the weather is supposed to be awful beginning this evening and lasting through the weekend, I made a point of getting over to the nursing home.

Mom, as always, was seated in her wheelchair with a pillow behind her head.  We said hello and then I wheeled her down to the so-called lounge so I could park her wheelchair in the sun.  We spoke about inconsequentialities (the beautiful day, the weather in general, whatever thoughts slipped through her mind).  At one point, I leaned over from my chair and put my head on her shoulder.  She tipped her head against mine and her hand beat a gentle rhythm against my arm, a cadence familiar from childhood:  tap-tap, tap-tap-tap, over and over.

Then, all at once she began to softly sing “Happy Birthday.”  I held very still, listening, because you see, my birthday is tomorrow. I hadn’t said anything, yet in the ravaged waste of her mind something nudged her, prompting her to sing that particular song at this particular time.

It’s not over, ’til it’s over.

About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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3 Responses to An Unexpected Gift

  1. bluestempond says:

    That is really sweet!

  2. What a wonderful moment for you, Melissa! And Happy Birthday!

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