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A mother’s touch on a hot forehead and looking for a throat suckie at three in the morning

A mother's touch on a hot forehead

She crawled into bed on my side at one this morning. “Mama, I don’t feel good.” I turned onto my side and pulled her in close to me, sharing my pillow with her.

A few hours later, “Mama, my throat really hurts.” She sat up in bed and I crawled out of the warm covers. “I’ll get you something. Mama will be right back.”  Speaking in the third person since she was a baby, so she would know my name. Now it is a habit that is hard to break.

It was dark. I didn’t turn on any lights.  Where are the throat suckies? My head bent close to the junk drawer so I could focus.  I forgot to put on my glasses. Yanking open doors and drawers. Dear God, please help me find her medicine. Please  help her sleep.

Are there some in my desk? No. In the purse? No. In the pantry? No.

And the last place I looked?

I pulled out everything from underneath the bathroom sink. Toilet paper, sunscreen, band aids. I have to clean this out tomorrow. Oh, there is my hair brush.

Yes, there was a bag of throat suckies under the bathroom  cabinet.

I walked up the dark staircase and into my bedroom. I felt my way around the edge of my bed, and gently touched her warm forehead.

She was asleep.

I put the honey-lemon, triple soothing action Halls Menthol, cough suppressant/oral anesthetic on the bedside table and crawled back into bed between my daughter and my husband.

(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Mom on the job. Night duty and day-time duty. Ready to wake up at any minute and love her children.

And I remember a gentle hand on my forehead. I am six and in my parents double bed. The headboard under the window facing the street, Avenue K North. The closed curtains just above my head. When I lay on my back and look up I can see little curves and tunnels where the fabric is pleated. The curtains are closed and the room is dark in the middle of the day. German measles.

Across the park at the elementary school I am missing the rummage sale in the school auditorium. A brief moment, a small memory slice of my mom taking care of me, and being devastated I couldn’t shop for treasures.

I miss my mom. I want to crawl in bed beside her and say, “Mommy, I don’t feel good.” I want to lay beside her and hold her and have her hold me. A brief moment of someone loving me unconditionally.  I miss my mother’s touch on my forehead. I miss her laughter. I miss her home-made bread.

My mother has touched me with love and a gentle hand. It has been three years since I saw her. She lives in Canada.

As I touch my child’s forehead I think of the gentle hands of my mother healing me with medicine and love. And I think back to my mother’s mother. And how much she loved my mom. I have some of her letters.

There’s a story behind everything..but behind all your stories is always your mother’s story..because hers is where yours begins.
―Mitch Albom, For One More Day

And one day someone will remember my touch on their forehead. May my touch always be gentle and full of love.


Thank you for reading my stories. If you would like to comment, please click here. I would love to chat with you.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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  • La McCoy

    A sweet time.

  • kathunsworth

    Pamela what a heartfelt sigh you gave me today when I read this post, my mum is my best friend and my hero I am blessed she bestowed her nurturing ways on all her nine children, we have a coffee and sometimes a wine on saturdays together. But she has been in hospital for two weeks after her hip operation, I have been by her side through most of it and she thanks me and says how wonderful I am. I cannot repay her for all the times she has been there for me. My rock.

  • Diane Andeson

    Your story made tears threaten. My girl is at college, and she’s been sending “I don’t feel good” texts this week. No mother’s hand on her forehead right now. And my mom is the one who is needing my hand on her forehead…hope it will be gentle and loving, hers was when I needed it.

  • Christa Sterken

    oh dear friend, I wish i had the money to send you to your own mother right now

  • Kathy Storrie

    Dear Pamela,
    I enjoyed your mom story.

    Your story reminded me of my mother rubbing my leg aches away every night when I was 7. She was so tired but she did it anyway. Afterwards, I always drifted off to slumberland.

    I need to thank my mom for doing that while she still here…she is 88.
    Thanks, Kathy

    • Dear Kathy,
      Your mom sounds so sweet and thoughtful. How wonderful that she is still here for you to thank. And you remember her kindness even today.
      So nice to hear from you.
      Sending you and your mommy a hug today.
      You are very welcome dear friend.

  • That memory of my mother’s hand on my forehead is one I have. It was the only time I remember her being gentle like that. I would offer my children saltines when they were sick and give them tea with lemon and honey, just like I was given. Thanks for the reminder of a great memory.

    • Hello Anne,
      I am glad my story brought you back a great memory of your mother. I can image your gentle hand taking care of your children, and now your grandchildren.
      Hugs to you Anne.