Ermilia’s Picture it & Write.

 

Amma had butterflies in her tummy even before she got out of bed. She didn’t know why, but she had a gut feeling something unusual was about to happen. What she did not expect, though, was the call.

“Hello?”

“Hello. Am I speaking to Amma Ansah?”

“This is she.”

“My name is Maureen, calling from Horizons. I have good news… Your mother’s lucid today.”

“What? How long?”

“A little over an hour. We wanted to be sure before calling you. Amma, these moments are rare and unpredictable so please come and spend each precious minute with her.”

“Does she remember me? Has she asked for me?”

“Yes. That’s all she’s been doing since…”

Amma hung up before the conversation stole any more time. No time to take a bath or have breakfast.  A quick change of clothes while brushing her teeth saw her to her battered Volvo in less than five minutes. Thankfully, there was little traffic on Sundays.

Twenty minutes later, she caught a glimpse of Horizons. A barrage of suppressed memories besieged her immediately. When she first moved in, Mama kept telling everyone Amma was a stranger who had kidnapped and dragged her to ‘this god-forsaken place’. The staff handled things professionally, unlike poor Amma who until barely a year ago, had never even heard of Mama’s condition. It had been embarrassing and heartbreaking at first; her mother getting hysterical every now and then, the sudden outbursts and tantrums, her forgetfulness of things and people, her confused state of mind. It all started in church a couple of years ago. They prayed for her and said she was healed. But somehow it didn’t stop. She wasn’t healed. Months of expensive medical tests led to a singular diagnosis.

“Alzheimer’s?!” Amma gasped in bewilderment at the doctor. “What’s that?”

Amma took a deep breath when she got to her mother’s door.  She wasn’t sure how this visit would go. The others had always been like her first day in grade school. Introductions, making friends afresh, trying to get this new friend to like her… Maybe this time they could catch up on all the lost time. Maybe, they could be mother and daughter again.

She took in another breath and walked in, smiling as best as she could. Mama was sitting on her bed staring at the dressing mirror, her Bible in her lap. When Amma’s shadow fell on her, she spun around quickly as if startled from a dream. She stared at Amma for a while, a blank expression on her face.

“Who are you?” Mama asked in frustration.

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