My mother loves to do jigsaw puzzles. I do not. Or, I will put it this way: I do not mind doing them so much if the picture on the box is helpful and I have nothing else that needs to get done. This puzzle we are doing? The picture does not help one bit, and it was clearly designed by a sadist! I do jigsaw puzzles with my mother because I can sit close to her. I love jigsaw puzzles.
Mother is 92 years old. She has shrunk since I was a child. She says that if the Lord allows her to live much longer she will be truly tiny. Mom will never be small to me.
Mother loves her telenovelas. I do not. They remind me of how truly poor my struggling Spanish is, and the often simplistic and stereotypical depictions of women make me shutter. I watch telenovelas with my mother because they keep us in the same room. I love telenovelas because my mother will turn and comment on the drama or laugh with me when the characters do something silly.
My mother’s hands shake. Her eyelids shake, also. I wrap her legs in a lap robe when she sits down next to the fireplace in our family room. I will cover her knees with my palms for a few seconds just to hear her say how nice that feels.
Each winter, Mother comes for a visit. I save as much of my vacation as I can so I can be home with her as much as possible. There is one prayer shawl she uses every year and every day when she is with us. It is my favorite prayer shawl. I love that prayer shawl.
Inez Torres Davis is director for justice.
Photo by daya devi. Used with permission.