From last time ...
"I wonder ...."
"What? What do you wonder?"
"I dunno, Mackey. I guess I wonder what that's gonna feel like."
And now ...
Sarah sat in the kitchen, sipping a cup of coffee and looking out the window. There was a worried look on her face, and as Jerry walked into the room she barely even noticed.
"What's up, Mom?"
"Oh. Nothing. Why?"
"I can see the worry on your face. Is it Gramma?"
"Yeah. I guess it is. But it's nothing for you to worry about. Have your breakfast and get ready for school."
Jerry stood there for a minute. Unmoving.
"I know what you're worried about, Mom. I see it, too. She forgets stuff. She forgets people. Last week, while you were gone, I swear she looked at me and didn't know who I was. She didn't say anything, but I could see it. She was AFRAID of me."
"It's just senility, Jerry. It happens to old people, sometimes. It's just that I don't know what to do about it. I don't know if there's anything I CAN do about it, and that scares me. I have to take these trips out of town and I'm afraid to leave her alone."
"She's not alone. I'm here."
"Yes, and you go to school. You can't be here 7x24, Jerry, and even if you could, it wouldn't be fair. You're young. You have to have a life of your own - you shouldn't have to take care of your Gramma."
"Neither should you."
"Oh, but there's where you're wrong, Jerry. She's MY mother. When I was a baby, when I was young and helpless and completely dependent, she's the one who nursed me, cared for me, and gave me a chance to grow up to become a woman. It's my time to pay some of that back, now, that's all. I owe her, Jerry. It's just right."
"Well, you can't be here 7x24, either, Mom. You deserve a life."
"I know, Jerry. I think we may have to find a nurse, or a housekeeper, or something. A nurse, I think. She needs someone who can be here when we can't. She needs more than a housekeeper can provide, I think. She's only gonna get worse. And she may need medications and stuff like that. Yeah. I think we'll put an ad in the paper for a parttime nurse. We'll see how that goes. What do you think?"
"I think that's a good idea. Just make she she's young and pretty, okay?"
"Not on your life, Buster. I know a woman in Nevada who would be perfect but I know I could never get her to come out here. No. I'll have to find someone local."
She gave Jerry a long, hard look.
"Some old battle axe. Just so's you mind your P's and Q's, my son. Now sit down and I'll make you some eggs. Yeah. I'll get a really experienced nurse - you know - one of those old MEAN ones, with tattoos on her arms and stuff."
"That's not fair. I was just thinking of Gramma."
"Yeah. Sure. And I was born yesterday."
Sarah stood at the stove, putting water on to boil.
A rare and soft smile crossed her face. She thought about the son she'd raised. Her and her Mom. I love you Jerry. There'll be plenty of time for 'young and pretty'. Plenty of time. And then she thought of Jake. And then she thought of The Kid. And then she remembered all the way back to Jerry's father. Plenty of time, Kid. Plenty of time.