“What day is it?” Ms. Spencer asked to nurse assistant Peggy.
“It’s Sunday,” Peggy said, drawing close to Ms. Spencer. “Anything planned for today?”
“I think my daughter said she would come to see me today.” Ms. Spencer shook her head. “Lord, I can’t remember any more!”
Ms. Spencer wheeled down the hall, stationing herself next to the living room area, browsing at magazines. She waited patiently.
“Grandma! Grandma!” A high-pitched voice echoed throughout the living area. Ms. Spencer turned around. Her hazel eyes brightened as she spotted little Hayley entering the nursing home, running toward her, enthusiastically and full of youthful energy.
Following Hayley was Ms. Spencer’s daughter, Linda, watching Hayley closely, fearful that her five-year old might run down another resident happenstance to be in the path of her charge to see her grandmother.
Ms. Spencer and Hayley hugged each other, a long and warm embrace that only grandmas know how to give.
Linda observed the two of them, and smiled. Her mother had been confused often, but her mind never failed when Hayley was present, her little and playful granddaughter.
Ms. Spencer and Hayley usually drew into long conversations during their visits. Hayley would ask multiple questions. And Ms. Spencer sharpened when Hayley was around.
“Mom, let’s go to your room.” Linda reached the wheelchair handles, and propelled her mother down the hall. Hayley happily followed them.
“Grandma, we have presents for you!” Little Hayley couldn’t keep the secret any longer.
“You do? How nice of you.” Ms Spencer said with a wide smile.
Once in Ms. Spencer’s room, Hayley helped handling the gifts to her grandma.
“Mom, happy Mother’s Day!” Linda kissed her mother on the cheek.
“This is Mother’s Day?” Ms. Spencer straightened her glasses to start opening the delicately wrapped gifts. But she first took her time reading a greeting card that Linda had given to her.
Hayley had wandered and was rummaging through her grandma’s closet.
“Hayley,” her mother called. “Come here to say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to grandma.” Linda turned around. “What are you doing?”
Hayley had managed to reach and put on a red cardigan. She walked fashionably, modeling the cardigan that looked more like a long dress on her.
“Oh, don’t you look pretty?” Ms. Spencer exclaimed and laughed.
Hayley headed to Ms. Spencer’s night drawer and grabbed one of her books. Ms. Spencer used to read often, before going to bed, but lately her eyes and mind lessened her enjoyment of reading. Regardless, she kept her collection of books near her, a reminder of her younger days as an elementary school teacher. Children, and the world of literature she rewarded their inquisitive minds were her passion.
“Are you going to read my book?” Ms. Spencer winked at Linda, flashing a broad smile.
Hayley drew close to Ms. Spencer, clutched the book near to her heart, motioned her chin up, and glanced at her mother. Her delightful voice filled the brief silence...
“When I grow up I want to be like grandma!” Hayley blinked and grinned.
Ms. Spencer remained speechless. Tears glistened in the corner of her eyes.
Hayley threw herself on Ms. Spencer lap. “I also want a cookie!”
Linda started to open a box of pastries that she had brought in.
“This is the best Mother’s Day present I’ve ever expected.” Ms. Spencer said, while taking her glasses off to wipe away her tears.