“Grant misery to me, my Lord and my God,” my mother prayed repeatedly Thursday morning. She meant “mercy.” But her dark malapropism didn’t alarm me. She has moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and her reasoning and memory suffers from its creeping blight.
She has better and worse days. I remember one incident when I, my dad and other family members took her to her favorite eatery, Lola and Rico’s Restaurant at 12889 Highway 145, a few months ago. She spotted her youngest grandson, Zachary. Mistaking him for myself as a child, she called out “Johnny” over and over until — prompted by my brother — Zachary came. “How are you feeling, Johnny?” she asked.
How fitting that her question would be that. Though I can seem stoic, I have always been an emotional person and in younger years confided in her often. Now I felt a disorienting but happy sense of déjà vu as if I were glimpsing my own past from afar in a sort of out-of-body experience.
I imagine that every mother still sees the child in her grown offspring. But my mom sees me best in other children now — yet loves me all the same...