Strawberry Malt & Three Squeezes
by Larry James

A very special message to all those whose
 parents are still alive.
And to those whose memories get us through...
In their later years , both my mom and my dad lived in life-care retirement center. Partially due to the stress
of my mom's Alzheimer's condition.
My dad became ill and was no longer able to care for her.
They lived in separate rooms , yet were together as much as they could be.
They loved each other so much.
Hand in-hand , those silver haired lovers strolled the halls, visiting their friends and passing out love. They were  the
"romantics" of the retirement center.
When I realized that my mother's condition was worsening, I wrote her a letter of acknowledgement. 
I told her how much I loved her.
I apologized for my orneriness when I was growing up. I told her she was a great mother, and I was proud to be her son.
I told her things I had wanted  to say for a long time but had been too stubborn to say until I realized she might not be in a position to comprehend the love
behind the words. It was a detailed letter of love and of completion. My dad told me she often spent hours reading and rereading that letter.
It saddened me to know my mom no longer knew I was her son. She often asked," Now, what was your name?" and  I proudly replied that my name was Larry, and I was her son. She would smile and reach for my hand. I wish I could once again experience that special touch.
On one of my visits, I stopped by the malt shop and brought my mother and my father each a strawberry malt. I stopped by her room first, re-introduced myself to her, chatted for a few minutes, then took the  other strawberry malt to my dad's room.
By the time I had returned she had almost finished the malt. She had lain down on the bed for a rest. She was awake. We both smiled when she saw me come into the room.
Without a word, I pulled a chair close to her bed and reached over to hold her hand. It was a divine connection. I silently affirmed my love for her. In the quiet I could feel the magic of our unconditional love, even though I knew she was quite unaware
of who was holding her hand. Or was she holding my hand?
After about 10 minutes, I felt her give my hand a tender squeeze, three squeezes. They were brief and instantly I knew what she was saying without having
to hear any words.
The miracle of unconditional love is nurtured by the power of the divine and our own imagination. I couldn't believe it! Even though she no longer expressed
her innermost thoughts like she used to, no words were necessary. It was as though she came back for a brief moment.
Many years ago, when my father and she were dating she had invented this special way of telling my dad, "I love you!" while they were sitting in church. He would
softly give her hand two squeezes to say, "Me too!"
I gave her hand two soft squeezes, She turned her head and gave me a loving smile I shall never forget. Her
countenance radiated love.
I remembered her expressions of unconditional love for my father, our family and her countless friends. Her love continues to profoundly influence my life.
Another eight to ten minutes went by. No words were spoken. Suddenly, she turned to me and quietly spoke these words: "It's important to have someone who loves you."
I wept. They were tears of joy. I gave her a warm and tender hug, told her how very much I loved her and left.
My mother passed away shortly after that.
Very few words were spoken that day; those she spoke were words of gold. I will always treasure those special  moments.
Special Thanks to my friends Kenny & Bette
for sending me this beautiful story!









Page put together by Jimmy