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TRADING PLACES...

June 13, 2023

Every night I come to tuck her in. We quietly tell stories about our day, fuss to each other about the parts that made us grumble and laugh about things we "pinky-swore" never to tell a soul. There are just some things the rest of the world just wouldn’t understand! Sometimes we cry…

We whisper precious things to each other...and sometimes she can't hear, and at other times, I can't understand...but we don’t really need words anymore. One thing is the same every single night. We mute FOX NEWS that’s blaring in the background, we hold hands and we say The Lord’s Prayer together. She doesn’t miss a word…although she says the “trespassers” part which messes up my “debtors!” But, with a quick giggly glance of one eye at each other, we get it back together by “Amen.”


Tonight, she was unsettled and uncomfortable, so I just held

her hand as she went in and out of sleep. I laid my head down on our hands to try to soak in every second of her presence. And, in a few breaths I felt her other tiny, beautiful hand moving my hair out of my face, strand by strand so gently. I wanted to be 4 years old again with my head in her lap after a sweaty summer skip through the sago palms and bright red geraniums in the backyard. But, instead we are here; just as precious but now we've traded places... She sweetly looked into my eyes and said,

“I’ve always been like a mommy to you and now you’re mine………” I couldn’t see her through the tears welling up in my eyes but I could hear her… “You’re taking care of me now…What would I do without you?” I can’t remember a single moment when we haven’t been there for each other. And, the real question…that I push far from my mind….as I try so very hard to stay right here - present……is, “Oh….Gram….What am I going to do without you…..…”


~ Kim Kennedy Hoff


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