Sunday, January 2, 2005


This, I think, is going to be a disjointed post.

    Although I arose early after a late retirement, my mother's late retirement brought her to 12 hours at 1300. As I did chores and wrote on my essay and handled bills my mother took her full compliment of sleep. When I decided, you know, this is it, it's been 12 hours and slipped into her room she was up on one elbow, bright eyed, gathering herself for a well anticipated day. It's possible today will be a short day for her; not because yesterday was a surprisingly long one (surprised both of us when she continued alert and interactive well past midnight) but because the sky is gathering for a storm. Her right knee awoke performing reconnaissance on the low, enough so that when I asked her if she wanted acetaminophen her response was, "I think I could use some of that stuff this morning."
    We've had a lively and conversational 'morning'. Her first question to me after we'd begun her bath was, "So, what have you been doing that's new and exciting?" This is a standard question of hers, but she asks it only when she's in medium high to high spirits. As it turns out, I've been working on an essay which is somewhat reliant on our experience on Guam. I knew she'd find this interesting and would have much to contribute so, as we bathed her we talked about our experiences on Guam and the possible meaning of some of them.
    One of the reasons I went to bed so late last night (it was almost 0300 this morning), is that my left leg, primarily my knee but accompanied with shooting aches down the outside of my left calf, was so uncomfortable I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep. I'd taken ibuprofen all afternoon and evening, was nowhere near my last dose wearing off and continued to have so much discomfort that going to bed seemed torturous. Finally I was too tired to concentrate on anything, both physically and mentally (my leg feels better when I'm moving so I keep moving as much as possible). I headed for bed.
    As I'd suspected, making myself comfortable enough to sleep was torturous. None of my previous manipulations with pillows, blankets and positions was working for more than a few seconds. In addition, The Little Girl, who always sleeps with me, was sitting in my window waiting for me to settle down before she picked her pleasure. After a half hour or so of my unsuccessful maneuverings I guess she'd decided, "Enough is enough! I'm too tired to wait for her to settle down, so I'll take care of it." I was in a position that is usually comfortable and soothing when my leg is bothering me but which was, this time, aggravating the ache. Before I was able to move again into another attempt at comfort The Little Girl jumped onto the bed and settled herself on my aching leg, all over it from knee to ankle, stretching out so that I could move only if I was interested in disturbing her. It's not unusual for her to sleep on my back, my stomach or my hip but she's never stretched herself out over my leg. Oddly, within less than a minute of her positioning herself into her desired sleeping posture my leg stopped hurting. As I drifted off to sleep I recalled that I often refer to having cats sleep with one as being a "healing sleep". Funny, I thought, I guess it actually is. I thanked The Little Girl for this favor just before unconsciousness closed over me.
    Thrilled that my leg wasn't bothering me this morning, when I greeted Mom at the beginning of her day and noticed she was in such a good mood I began to relate this story.
    Before I got to the part that includes my assumption that The Little Girl healed me my mother exclaimed, "The heat from The Little Girl's body soothed your leg! Do you suppose she 'knew' this would happen?!?"
    Sometimes I am blown away by how it is that my mother and I not only show up on the same page at the same time but she reads something into that page that I've missed. Of course. It was The Little Girl's body heat that acted like a low level heating pad and soothed my leg. Whether she understood this is objectively beside the point, only fit for personal conversations of a Twilight Zone nature. More comforting is that my mother remains in very close, very accommodating quarters with me.

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