“Will you tuck me in? Read me a story?”
I fluffed her pillow, straightened her bedding and wrapped her tight.
“Like a bug in a rug,” she said, a laugh tickling her words, her eyes alive with mirth.
I selected a book at random from her nightstand. The story didn’t matter. Being together is what matters−sharing quiet times before sleep pulls us into another dimension.
“I like bedtime stories best, don’t you?”
“You’re a nice man,” she said. “A gentleman. I can tell. You’re kind and speak softly, like you really care.”
She took my hand and held it.
All at once she broke into song. “When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.” She sang that phrase often, always accompanied by a smile.
“Tell me who are you are again.” Her blue-gray eyes searched my face as she tried to remember. Then her tired eyes closed, the promised bedtime story and me forgotten.
When her chest rose and fell with a tranquil rhythm and sleep erased the hard lines from her face, I clipped the attendant call button to her pillow and kissed her brow.
“I love you, Mom,” I whispered.