“Let’s play ‘Ask a Parkie,” I say, helping my mother to pull herself up to the room service breakfast table.
“What?” She asks, pouring us coffee with a hand steadier than mine will ever be again.
“Ask me anything about Parkinson’s Disease, anything.”
She starts to tap dance.
“Do you like your doctor?”
“How often do you have to see him?”
She goes on, asking about medication names and protocols.
“What are you taking right now?” she asks, as I pop a pill into my mouth.
“A vitamin. Parkie pills have to be taken on an empty stomach.”
Momently enthralled with candor, she blurts, “Does it hurt?”
My mother is a generalist. I am stingy with details.
“ At night, especially when I’m tired.”
“Everything is worse when you don’t sleep well.”
“That is certainly true, Mother.”
“Does it hurt a lot?”
Her follow up question surprises me.
“It’s not that bad. My muscles just cramp sometimes.”
She looks down at her hands. And like all mothers since motherhood’s inception, whether it’s a toddler’s scraped knee or an adult child’s stiffened muscles, we ache over the boo boos our love and kisses can’t heal.
“Your cup is empty. Here.”
And my mother, with features touched by the gods, as beautiful as I am plain, elegant by reflex…spills the coffee. Everywhere.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she is flustered. We reach for napkins.
“No problem, it stayed on the table.”
“I’ve made quite a mess of our breakfast.”
“I’m okay, Mom. Really.”
Her mouth smiles.
We mop up. And talk about the weather.