#balloons #pets #Alzheimers
We decided Mom’s pet balloon-heart needed to go in the trash bin. After eight months, the heart’s helium disappeared and left it deflated.
Mom reminisced about her favorite balloon antics. “Heart drifted over me and touched my face with her ribbon. Remember when she hid behind my bed? I’d wake up from a nap and she would be in front of the TV or sitting on the chair. She sure was funny.”
I raised a brow, and glanced at my sis. “A balloon with humor? Well, sure.”
Mom cocked her head and frowned.
Sis smiled. “Heart followed you around my room and out the door to my bathroom. Then you said she ended up in the kitchen. She’s a curious balloon.”
I lifted the trailing balloon ribbon from the carpet. “Remember when heart disappeared for two days? When I set the laundry basket on the washer, I found her stuck between the wall and the dryer?” Sis and I laughed. “See what I mean?” Mom nodded and turned to Sis. “That was quite a Valentine gift you gave me. Lasted forever.”
Sis gently took the balloon from my hands, and asked Mom, “Are you ready to trash her?”
Mom grimaced, “I guess it’s time. Go ahead. Bye Heart, you gave me a lot of love and laughs.” Mom kissed the balloon.
Three days later, I stared out our sliding door at something shiny on the lawn behind the fence and our patio. “Heart? No way.” Same silver “I Love You heart”—her markings were unique. She was lying on her side twisting and turning in the wind.
Hurrying to Mom’s room, I opened her blinds. “Mom! Look what’s on the lawn.”
Mom sat forward from her doze and gasped, “Is it…it is! It’s Heart! How did she get out there?” I shrugged, “I don’t know, maybe someone found her in the trash?” Mom raised her teary green eyes to mine, “She’s looking for me. I think she misses me. I miss her.”
I bit my lip, “She’s definitely a real loyal pet, but I can’t reach her, Mom. She’s behind the fence in someone else’s yard. Not only that, she’s probably dirty from the garbage bin.”
Mom watched Heart for about thirty-minutes. She turned away to get a box of tissue. When Mom returned, Heart was gone.
“I promise we’ll get you a new pet balloon for your birthday.”
The family heard the story of Heart and gave Mom three balloon pets for her birthday—”Silvie Star,” “Goldie,” and “Happy Face.” Three pets are better than one, right?
2 thoughts on “Persistent Heart”
Oh this made me sad. She never missed any details about her heart balloon though, but somehow it broke my heart. On a positive note and one that has never changed yet, her hair is perfect, not a hair out of place. Thanks for this emotional and thought provoking story.
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It’s a bittersweet story for me. Her connection to her pet balloon describes my mom’s essence. I’m glad to share her with the world. Thank you, Erika!