Where am I?
I don’t understand.
Is this a dream?
Why is that woman singing my name?
“Sweet Angeline I loved you much more than poets say in rhyme, waaaakkkke up punkin.”
“Mom?” The sound of my childlike voice alarmed me to the point of tears.
In a futile attempt to assess the situation, I began to analyze how this could be that I’m once again a small child. Wearing a Wonder Woman nightgown, I lay in a very uncomfortable spring bed in a bedroom that I barely remember.
Panic stricken and with wet cheeks, I try to find a rational explanation of why I’ve suddenly woken up as my three-year old self. “I should not be here.”
Misunderstanding my predicament, mother comes to me for comfort. “Did you have a bad dream sweetie?” Scooping me up in her lap, she holds tight and rocks us both in perfect unison that only a mother can. “Shhh, now don’t cry. Momma’s got you.”
This can’t be happening. I’m a forty-year old woman with my own children. I have a career, husband, and a dog. I have a life! If this is a dream, why aren’t I able to wake up? Reality usually presses on when the fantasy is disclosed.
The longer I concede to her cradling me, the more useless it is to struggle against her embrace as her tender fingers stroke my forehead. Dazed and confused I submit to her nurturing. “Would you like some breakfast sweetie?”
The mere mention of the word sends my toddler senses into a frenzy worthy of a shark attack. My stomach noisily growls and I wince at my vulnerability. “Yes please. I would like to eat now.”
With a kiss that touched my forehead, mother goes towards the kitchen to cook my meal and once again sings my name, “Sweet Angeline I loved you much more than poets say in rhyme.”
I revel in the moment as I lay here listening to my beautiful mother singing to me. I forgot about how pleasant she was before the drugs destroyed all the good in her. My young body responds with tingling happy feelings that make me want to run up to her and jump in her arms. But my adult brain keeps me still, stymied as I’m hypnotized by her loveliness. I long for this moment to last forevermore.
The old house seems much vaster than I remember when I left at sixteen. After breakfast, I give in to temptation and to explore. It’s strange to walk around a house when your barely three-and-a-half feet tall. My hands are so small, it’s with great difficulty to hold on to anything.
Astonishment registers as I approach our old rocking chair. “It’s so big!”
In one fell swoop, I’m soaring through the air as mother twirls around until we crash-land right dead center of the chair. Both of us broke out into uncontrollable giggles as she hugged me close.
How could I not remember this about her? Tears streak my guilt-ridden cheeks as she tightened her arms around me once more. “Awe my sweet Angeline, my angel. Don’t be upset.”
She kissed me over and over almost as if she knew this wasn’t authentic and only an amiable delirium. “This is just my way of telling you how much I truly love you. And I’m sorry for all you endured. And I’m sorry for the anguish caused by my own cruel elections. I made one bad decision after another and I am sorry for that my sweet angel.”
Now she too was weeping, “I fancied to remind you that our time together wasn’t always prejudicial. I love you and I’m so very proud of the person you have become. You are twice the woman I ever was. And now, well now I’m long overdue as I’ve consumed and wasted my time.”
Her hands trembled and the beauty that graced this woman’s body when I first arrived is fading. The look on my face must have said it all.
“Yes my Angel. This is where I will spend eternity. This is my heaven.”
I then understood why I was brought here. It’s been twenty-two years since I’ve seen my mother and I had no intention of ever seeing her again. My resolve has haunted me since my Jane was born four years ago. Nonetheless, I swore never again would a viperous evil tongue slash at me, especially from this drunken strung out junkie.
Yet here were are, in the safest of havens shielded from all wickedness, and I wish to be nowhere than in her arms cradled next to her beating heart. I leaned in further snug with my mother as we have done many times before the demons seized her. We cuddled until sleep carried me back the way I came.
“Goodbye mom. I love you.”