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Oh, Mama!

We moved three generations together into a large apartment about four months after my brother died. Mama had lived just a few blocks from him, in such a tiny place. She was so lonely there, but I think she felt safe with him close by. When he was gone about a month, and Mama turned 80, she said to me in a rare show of vulnerability, "I don't think I should live alone anymore."

I didn't want to take time off from work to unpack and settle in, figured I could do that evenings and weekends. So, there was Mama, alone all day while I was working and my daughter was in school. She was alone-with all my unpacked stuff in our furniture-lacking living room. I thought my belongings were dwindling, but couldn't figure it out. Mama was able to hide her pilfering since we had her and her great amount of posessions in the master bedroom with a walk-in closet.

A year later, some things came to light when for Christmas dinner, coming out to join our dressed-down family, was Mama appearing in the silver sequins jacket that I had picked up at a yard sale for my preschool class' dress up area. Mama announced that it would be her last Christmas (because of her age, I guess), and insisted that jacket, and everything else in her room, was hers.

It's been nearly a decade, and Mama is still here. she now resides in a nursing home. I do my best to bring family news when I visit, and lots of laughs to share. When I walk in she lights up, maybe even introducing me to someone as her mother. That's OK. I just smile and think, oh, Mama!
FeelingOrange FeelingOrange 46-50, F Jun 2, 2012

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