Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Time Flew

A minor break before the very last installment on the Las Vegas trip report --

Tuesday afternoon, I went to my oldest sister's house to try to help her get her stuff under control before she moves to a newer, smaller, more manageable house.

One of the tasks this afternoon was taking apart my mother's bed. It's a massive antique bed, quite beautiful, and worth thousands of dollars. It's also very delicate, and it required all four of the people in my family to take it apart without breaking the exceedingly fragile footboard.

That room -- that house -- is filled with memories. Some of them are good. Some of them are fabulous. Some of them are terrible. My mother died in that house, and I still miss her as if I lost her yesterday.

When we took out the mattresses and bed slats, and were standing in the midst of the bed before dismantling it, we uncovered a little debris that had been lying under there, dormant, like a time capsule.

There were tissues and a couple of wrappers from sock packages.

There were a couple of baby blocks.

And there, next to the head of the bed, was a syringe.

When Emily was born, she came to us with a heart defect that had to be corrected by surgery when she was two days old. For four long years, we had to give Emily a number of medicines to keep her heart beating, to keep it beating strong, and to maintain a normal rhythm. Very recently, she was asking about the meds that she hasn't taken in fourteen years, and we were telling her that Digoxin, the yummiest-smelling medicine, was also the scariest, and that she took it in the tiniest drops, measured in the skinniest syringes imaginable.

There, under Mama's bed, covered with dust and cobwebs, was a skinny syringe with a piece of white tape wrapped around it, and the abbreviation "Dig." marked on it.

When Mama was alive, she often just appropriated Emily and took her away with her for hours at a time. Mama loved babies -- *all* babies -- and she was the most marvelous and generous of grandmothers that God ever created. Her prolonged baby-visits meant that I had to keep the medicines ready to go. I apparently tagged the syringe and labeled it so that Mama would know how much Digoxin to give Emily on one of those long, lovely sessions with Memama.

I miss Mama. Right now, I miss baby Emily. She's growing up so nicely, but she's growing up *so* fast.

I don't know what makes me sadder tonight -- the loss of my mother, or the inevitable maturing of my baby girl.