Through the Window

I made a more upbeat post a couple weeks ago. I will apologize in advance that today’s is more melancholy than the last one. But it’s what I felt led to write on Mother’s Day. This one is a fictional story, but it is based on what several women I know have been going through.

She sat down on her bed slowly. Of course, she laughed to herself. She seemed to be doing everything slowly these days. What would be the point in doing anything quickly? There weren’t enough things to do in a day as it was, so there was no rush to do any of them, now was there?

She stared out the window again, but couldn’t see anything different outside. She wondered why she bothered to look again and again, since the view never changed. Slowly she moved away from it. Something had made her look out the window earlier that day but she was having trouble remembering what it was.

Slowly, it was coming back to her. Her daughter. That was why she had gone to the window earlier. Her daughter had been there, waving at her, and holding a lovely bouquet of flowers. Her daughter’s mouth had been formed in the shape of a smile, but she had seen the tears flowing down her face.

She remembered being confused by that. Her daughter shouldn’t have been smiling and crying at the same time. And she certainly shouldn’t have been crying while holding those beautiful flowers.

She had wanted to go outside and hug her daughter and make the tears go away. But for some reason she couldn’t do it. That bothered her. But again she couldn’t remember why.

Her daughter used to come to visit her regularly. She did remember that. It was always sometime around lunch time, she remembered that too. Sometimes her own lunch had already been eaten, but sometimes it came while her daughter was visiting.

She smiled again. She could remember those meals the best. She liked it when her daughter sat in the chair and talked to her while she ate.

Slowly she turned and looked at the chair. Was her daughter sitting there now? No, the chair was empty. Again. It seemed like it was always empty these days. Why wasn’t her daughter sitting in it anymore? She had known at one time what the reason was, but now she couldn’t remember. It seemed there were alot of things she couldn’t remember these days.

She stood back up, slowly going back to the window. It was a big window and she was glad about that. It let in lots of sun on sunny days. But lately it seemed to be raining alot. Or was that her tears? She was having trouble telling them apart.
She found herself standing in the window again. Her daughter wasn’t there now, but she could see the spot where she had been standing earlier. Standing there holding a big bouquet of beautiful flowers.

She turned around slowly again, looking at her dresser across the room. Those flowers, she thought, as the smile on her face came back. Those were the flowers her daughter had been holding outside earlier today.

She crossed the small room again, carefully going by the empty chair and then reaching the dresser and the beautiful flowers. She thought she remembered seeing a card with the flowers. But had she remembered to open the card? She didn’t know.

She found the card and carried it carefully back across the room. Sitting down in the empty chair, she opened it. It’s beautiful, she thought. There was a rainbow splashed across the card. And in beautiful letters she saw the words “Happy Mother’s Day.” She smiled at the rainbow. I think I saw one of those recently she thought. Didn’t I?

Slowly she opened the card. She recognized her daughter’s handwriting. Her daughter hadn’t written much, just a few beautiful words, “I love you, Mom. I look forward to giving you a hug.”

She read the words again. A hug. I haven’t had one of those in a long time, have I? Why not? Is there a reason she can’t give me a hug like she used to? I know she told me. But I don’t remember.

She heard the rain starting outside her window and she glanced that direction. I haven’t felt the rain in a long time, have I? But I don’t know why. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been outside this room in a long time.

She sat trying to remember what she had been told. There were reasons her daughter wasn’t sitting in the chair anymore, reasons that she couldn’t go outside anymore, reasons that she missed the hugs, but she couldn’t remember what they were. She hoped they were good reasons, at least.

She sat for a long time, looking at the beautiful card and the lovely rainbow and listened to the rain. She like the sound of rain when it was like this, not too hard and not too loud. She wasn’t fond of the loud noises that sometimes came with the rain, she remembered that. She did like the bright lights that sometimes accompanied it. They lit up the sky like a show, and she enjoyed watching them out her window.

Carefully she put the card back with the flowers, hoping she remembered it was there. She would like to look at it again someday. She stood in front of the flowers for another long time, enjoying their smell. And their pretty colors. Her daughter made sure they were each a different color, just like she liked them.
Her daughter? Was that who had brought the flowers earlier today? Yes, her daughter, she was sure of it.

She walked slowly back to the window, looking out at the spot her daughter had stood with the flowers. Every day she stands there. At least I think she does. I sort of remember that. But she doesn’t have flowers for me every day. Just on special days. So today must be a special day.

What was special about today? Did she know? Did she remember? Yes, that’s right, the card had told her. It was Mother’s Day. A special day.

She looked out the window again. The rain had stopped and the sun was starting to shine. As she gazed again at the spot her daughter had been standing, she saw the rainbow. The beautiful rainbow peaking out from behind the clouds.
She smiled again. A rainbow. Just like the one on her daughter’s card. No, on her card from her daughter. The card that promised her a hug. That was something worth remembering. One day, at some point in the future, hugs would come back.


  1. Betty West

    Precious story. Brought tears! Unfortunately, there are many mothers in that situation today. I pray I keep my memory to the end so this will not be my story! But it fills us with compassion for those who go through it.

  2. Donna Parsons

    oh, Cathy…’s your mom?

    • Catherine Jaime

      She’s doing okay. Some of the other moms I know are not doing as well, which was part of the motivation for this story.

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