A Poem Shares a Heartfelt Look at a Visit with Her Mother

 A Visit

By Cheryl Kempner


It’s just the beginning…

Three years in….

She knows my name.

She opens the door but does not lock it behind her.

She tries to find a place for the new picture I gave her.

She said she’d move things later.

I said let’s do it now.

It’s perfect she says.

She asks if we want a drink.

We say later.

We try to chat.. there’s little conversation.

She asks if we want a drink.

We say later.

She asks if we want a drink.

We say yes.

She tries to find the glasses.

She opens the cabinets.

One after another.

She finds the right one.

She gives me a glass.

She gets me water.

Her gait is off.

She walks slowly.

She’s young… only 75.

We sit at the table.

What’s new I ask.

Nothing she says.

Where’s your coloring.

I don’t know. I cleaned up.

The family room is spotless.

I like things organized she says.

Are you playing cards? Painting?

Playing tomorrow..good I say.

I don’t know if it’s true…

Do you want to see the pictures from our cruise I say.

Yes she says.

Let’s slide through the pictures on my phone.. are you bored yet?

No they are wonderful.

Did you have a good time.

Great I said.

How are you feeling.

She says I’m good.

You lost a lot of weight I said.

Yes she says.

What do u eat?

Eggs with… with…

I said tomatoes, cheese, spinach…

Give me a minute..

I say lox? I found it hidden in the side of the refrigerator.

She says yes, Nova.

She offers more snacks.

She takes chocolate.

Are you allowed to have it?

She says I can do what I want.

We sit again.

We look at more pictures .

Do you remember when we went to Venice?

She smiles.

Did you buy anything she asks.

Not much I said.

Some souvenirs.. I had an amazing time though.

She just holds her head in her hands and looks at my pictures. I know it’s enough.

She tells me they just came back from a trip… there was no trip.

She tells me dad left at 3:00 for cards.

I spoke with him at 530.

They were having dinner.

I know it’s enough.

She wants to change and watch tv.

I say maybe we will do this again next Thursday.

She says sure if she has no plans.

I say ok, lock the door.

We kiss goodbye.

Thank you for coming.

Lock the door.


What Are Your Visits Like?

We would love to her from you.




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One Reply to “A Poem Shares a Heartfelt Look at a Visit with Her Mother”

  1. I love this, through my tears of course.

    Will likely share it with families when we talk about communication skills, why visits are still valuable and how to improve them using our Flashback tool.

    Look at this article about the real grief these families experience.

    Beth Propp, RN Master Trainer

    Beth@AGEucate.com 920.737.1015 (NEW)



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