One afternoon, I was driving Mama back from the hospital when she turned to me and asked who I was. “I’m Nola,” I answered.
She looked puzzled. “The nurse?”
“Nola, your daughter.” I enunciated slowly, hoping the words took root.
Her eyes, red-veined and glassy, kindled with recognition. “Nola?”
“That’s right.” I smiled, relieved. Most days her memories were like smoke.
She smiled back at me like a child and made odd gestures with her hands. “Hello, Nola,” she said. “It’s so nice to meet you.”
The neighborhood disappeared in a blur. “It’s nice to meet you too, Mama,” I said.