washing feet

my head was a cage for unhappy thoughts flapping tired wings.

i sat at the computer, pounding the keys, as if i could hurt them.

she walked in, saw my wrinkled forehead.

walked out, in her slow, gentle way. returned, teetering forward with the dishpan full of soapy water.

she continued to bring in supplies, methodically, as if she’d done it a thousand times… dead sea salt, fresh towels, and her favorite stuffed animal.

turn around, she told me in her sweet mother tone.

i inwardly sighed, and half-turned, my thoughts still fluttering angrily inside my head.

i’m going to wash your feet, she said. they’re dirty, and you’re tired.

i looked at my mother. was it the brain cancer playing tricks? no, she was serious. kind crinkles outlined her eyes. humor wisp-ed around her mouth, as she turned to her yellow duck — her favorite stuffed animal — and flicked on the switch.img_1290.jpg

it began hopping around the room in a bizarre rendition of “if you’re happy and you know it.”

i couldn’t help but laugh. she shakily took my foot in her fragile hand, and began to scrub sea salt into my skin.

sweet mother of mine — her mind ravaged by cancer’s cruel fingers, her heart massaged by the ever tender balm of love.



  1. abbagirl said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:10 am

    Oh Em, you make me cry with these posts about your mom. I just don’t know what to say when I have that lump in my throat from the tears. You are always in my thoughts.

  2. quone said,

    May 27, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Hi Em – this is so sad and beautiful. I’m pleased you got your own new space to let loose all those thoughts swirling inside you. We’re thinking of you and missing you here.

  3. Jeannette said,

    May 29, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Dearest Em
    “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” May the Holy Spirit lead you in the days ahead.

  4. Meredith said,

    May 29, 2007 at 2:25 am

    Sweet sister of mine, thank you for sharing Mom’s love with us all. It is such an encouragement to read this story.

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