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.

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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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