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.