A Midnight Visit With My Mom

Jan 21, 2022 | 2 comments

The Oldest and The Youngest Espy, Labor Day 2007  Dale Espy Little 95 yrs, 10 mo. and Silas Ronco, 3 mo.

“Why did you quit talking?” I asked her.

“Because no one listened any more,” she answered.

I was having this conversation with my mother last night.  It was a dream and was laden with those half-realities.  Dementia did, indeed, rob my mother of her ability to speak toward the end.  (Or so we thought.) She began to forget in 1995 and, though she kept the twinkle in her eyes and her wonderful smile, she gradually become more and more confused. And quieter and quieter.  She didn’t speak much during 2008 and maybe not at all during 2009.  She died in June that year, five months before her 98th birthday.

“Did I quit listening, too?” I asked her.  “Did I not pay attention any more? Did I simply second-guess your needs and forget the important things — all the ideas and thoughts you had?  All the living you had done and all the insights you could have offered?”

It wasn’t shame I felt when I woke up.  It was just a glimmer of understanding.  It’s not time yet… but soon, I think.  Soon it will be my turn to stay silent.

I wonder if I’ll have the courage.  The stamina.  The wisdom.


  1. Diane Buttrell

    Powerful dream, Sydney.
    A courageous sharing.
    Thank you.

  2. Cate Gable

    Agreed. Brave writing. Thank you.


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