A few days before, I'd helped her bathe and change her bed clothes. She'd sat on the side of the bed while I stood before her methodically and gently combing and parting her hair into small sections to gently it wrap around each curler. She still wanted to feel pretty.
That's when she wrapped both her arms around my waist and pulled me close. Then she laid her head on my chest.
"Be my love," she whispered. "Be my love."
"I'm your love, Mama. I am your love."
My mother looked deep into my eyes, searching.
"I'm so tired," she said.
The sick old woman rested her head on me--her daughter--her caretaker--her friend--for a few more seconds and then leaned back so I could finish curling her hair.