I wait, by Bea's bedside.
“Please tell me,” she finally utters in such a faint voice that I must lean in close.
“Tell you what?”
“If I’m normal or not.”
“Can you explain what you mean a bit better?”
Bea stares up at me with distress. She hesitates until confident enough to ask what must surely be a difficult question: “Who am I?”
“Beatrice. Beatrice Chinnock Grabbe. Does that ring a bell?”
With a frown, she gives her head a quick shake.
“You live in Wellfleet.”
“Wellfleet.” Bea repeats, closing her eyes, as if the eyelids were too heavy, reason enough for this retreat to a fact without dispute: “I was born in Belleville, New Jersey.”
There’s a pause, again to collect thoughts.
My mother furrows her brow. “And, who are you?”
“I’m your daughter.”
A contented sound escapes her closed lips. “Hmmmmm. How marvelous to have a daughter!”