Losing Mama

Losing Mama October 23, 2012

I walked 20 steps, from Mama’s bedroom to the laundry room. Mama was sitting on the bed when I left. I was gone all of three minutes. When I came back Mama was gone.

Since she’s been off the chemo and on the steroids, Mama thinks she’s Arnold Studnegger. She moves lickety-quick, holding on to walls, tables and anything else within arm’s reach.  Three weeks ago she couldn’t get to the bathroom alone.

I checked the bathroom.

Not there.

I checked the bedroom.

Not there.

Did she get past me on the way to the laundry room? I checked it.

Nope. Not there either.

Mama was MIA.

Had the Rapture come?

It be just my luck that Mama would be raptured and I’d be left behind.

I was in a full blown panic by the time I got back the bedroom and still could not find Mama. Then I saw it.

The door was wide open.

It was pitch black outside.

I ran out the door. There was Mama, barefoot on asphalt, wet, cold, asphalt. In her jammies.

“What are you doing?” I hollered.

That scared Mama. Turn about is fair-play.

“Getting something,” she replied.

“Mama,” I scolded. “You can’t do this. You can’t disappear on me like that. It’s dark out here. You could have fallen. I didn’t know where you were.”

“So what if I had fallen,” she said.

“How would I explain that to my brother and sister?” I answered. “If something happens to you, do you know how guilty I’ll feel?”

“Sorry,” Mama replied, as she followed me back into her bedroom. “My life is full of apologies.”

“Yes,” I said, laughing. “Mine, too.”

She put away the gum she rustled from the glove box and crawled back into bed.

I sent the following Tweet: “Started my day off by losing Mama. It has already been a long day and it’s not yet 8 a.m.”

Of course I meant literally losing Mama — the way you lose a two-year-old in the mall, or the old man at a ballgame.

Within seconds, I began receiving replies. People praying for me.

Them thinking that I had lost Mama — in that coroner-calling way.

When I told Mama what I’d done she shook her head, “My intelligent daughter.”

Yep. That’s me. The Communications Specialist who spends her life apologizing.

So if you were confused by my post, well, you know, so sorry for the misunderstanding.


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  • I didn’t see the tweet, but the first few lines of this post “when I returned, Mama was gone” stopped my heart from beating. Sheesh.

  • Got me! When Dad goes missing, he’s just flirting with the nurses and aides. Hug’s my friend!

  • dd

    I had to take a big gulp as I started to read your post, glad she was found…

  • Sharon O

    funny… when my sister was on hospice and ‘dying’ she was able to get up and wall walk to head outside to have a smoke. I guess where there is a will there is also a way. Glad you found her.