Momma and Me had a wonderful story today about bedtime kisses. And how the circle of life has the daughter kissing her mama goodnight, then comforting her with further kisses throughout the night to allay her fears, to calm her back to sleep, awakening at all hours to make sure her mama feels safe enough to go back to sleep. She draws the parallel between this and her own childhood when her mama did the same for her.
It’s a poignant post as I imagine the many nights Mama got up with us, especially as babies and small children, to make sure we were calm, unfearful, and safe enough to go back to sleep. And I did the same for her as her days came to an end.
I’ve always been a light and up-and-down sleeper. I suspect Mama spent more time trying to get me back to sleep in my early years (as I grew older, I just stayed in bed awake, only getting up if I heard her up with one of her migraines pacing the halls, and then – now – as an adult, just getting up and often doing the same pacing she did) than I spent in her later years doing the same with her.
I wasn’t afraid of anything. I simply have never had a good sleep rhythm or pattern and that continues to this day. But, as I became Mama’s sleep comfort over the years, I realize that was a blessing that I was able to give her when she needed it.
As Mama did with me when I was small, I was able to return a lot of kisses to Mama as our roles reversed. I never put her to bed or back to bed without a kiss, a hug, and an “I love you.” When the nights were filled with the symptoms of Lewy Body Disease, I’d lie beside her and with one arm around her, hold her hand with my other free hand. It never failed to help, even if it didn’t completely stop it.
It’s the little things that make the difference. With babies and small children. With loved ones suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. They don’t cost anything but time and patience. This taught me about love in action.
I’m thankful I had Mama and Daddy to model this for me as a child so it came naturally to me as an adult.
Remember the gifts your parents gave you, the sacrifices they made for you, the love they surrounded you with as they grow old and need the very same things from you. Life is a circle and those of us who are younger – well, everything in the universe in counting on us to complete it.