The other day when I visited you, I climbed into the recliner, smooshing myself in next to you, and laid my head against your chest. Instantly transported back to my childhood, I sighed deeply as the familiar comfort of your scent washed over me. I listened to your breathing, to your heartbeat and there was something so tangible about the love emanating from your body as you let me squeeze your sides like I used to, and you rested your cheek on the crown of my head.
I listened to your voice as you talked to my sister, reverberating through your body, into my ear, like music. You were all around me then, just like when I was small. As you patted my back, I remembered the rhythm from another time, perhaps the long hours you carried me as a baby, walking the hall in the wee hours of the morning, shoosh-shooshing me back to sleep. I felt that if I could just stay there, all would be right with the world.
Mama, I almost cried then, as I realized how much I miss you. How much I wish that I could climb not just into the chair beside you, but into your lap, into your arms as often as I wanted, as much as I needed. I realized how old I am and how, at 33 years old, I don't think I've ever felt more helpless than I do right now, and yet I know that you can't walk the halls cradling me, comforting me in the same way you used to do. I realized, as I looked up into your face, my eyes tracing familiar lines as you talked, that you have grown older and yet you are still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.
I cradle my babies now, my own number six almost always in my arms, and I wonder if they'll still want to sit with me when they're grown, and if it will comfort them the way it does now as babes, the way it did me just the other day as I folded myself into your embrace and listened to your heartbeat and voice. I hope that if they do, I can comfort them at a rough time in their own life, the way you did me the other day, when you let me climb into the recliner next to you and fill my empty places with the rhythm of your love.