Lemon Mousse

Dark sand turquoise water Lake Ontario in Rochester, New York

It was so warm and sunny we dismissed the high wind warnings that were forecast in our morning paper and went out for a walk. The lake looked especially dramatic and it was probably because of the dark clouds to the west. We had just crossed Lakeshore Boulevard on our way home when it started pouring.

I stopped up to see my mom and found her at a table in the far corner of the dining room. She likes her privacy. She was working on a cup of coffee and smiled when she saw me. She said, “I was wondering if I was going to see you two today.” I was alone. Peggi was home doing my mom’s taxes in preparation for a meeting with our tax guy.

My mom’s menu calls for “Aspiration Precaution” so her liquids are nectar thick, including her coffee. It looked like she had eaten about half of her dessert already, I heard one of the aides call it “Lemon Mousse,” and she hadn’t touched her soup or whatever it was under the lid on her plate. She is as thin as a rail but she looked very pretty and I told her so. She thanked me and asked where Martha (her deceased sister) was. I told her I didn’t know. She said I should comb my hair and I told her I didn’t have a comb. She asked what was under the lid. It looked like something had been plopped on her plate with an ice cream scoop. I looked at the little printout on her tray and it said “Pureed San BBQ Chicken.” After not eating for weeks my mom seems to have regained some of her appetite.

We went down to her room after lunch and she said “This isn’t my room.” I said, “Yes it is” and I pointed to the pictures on her window sill. She studied the pictures for a bit and then asked me to put a third one on the long bed table. She wanted it in the middle and then had me move the big one to the end of the row of three pictures. She was always rearranging things in our home and she still has that bug.

I handed her the picture of my father and her on their wedding day and I told her how beautiful she looked. I pointed to my dad and said, “You found a good husband.” My mom looked at the photo for a bit and said, “Yes, I did.” “But then I lost him.”

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