I put Mom to bed almost every night. On occasion, she heads there herself. Every now and then, someone other than me does the tucking in. But for most of the past couple of years, it has been me. When she lets me, I help her into pajamas. I pull back the covers, take off her glasses and set them on the dresser.
Tonight she was exhausted and before I could pull back the covers, she lay down on top of the bed. The wrong side of the bed. Everything in me recoiled at the sight of Mom on the left side inside of the right side where she belongs.
Mom has slept on the right side of the bed, well, always. My dad had the left and Mom had the right. This was true through various houses and room arrangements. And I have watched her maintain her side clearly over the past couple of years, even with no one sleeping on the other side of the bed next to her.
Until tonight. When she lay down to go to sleep on the wrong side of the bed. I wanted to move her and yet, nothing about that would make sense– other than it fixing for a moment my need to keep things the same that they have always been.
But things are not the same. As of today, Mom does not remember a habit of at 45 years.