This evening, once she'd had a shower and was in her pajamas, laying in bed with clean cool sheets, I asked if she'd like for me to rub some Vick's on her chest. This is one of her favorite remedies. Along with Jell-O. And Tylenol. And ice chips. And bunny. (Bunny always makes things better.)
Sitting on the edge of her bed, I unscrewed the top, but before I could scoop out the balm, she held up her hand and asked if we could please call her Noni because she had a very important question. "Sure, we can call Noni ... but what for?" I asked. We'd just spoken with my mother 30 minutes earlier and I wasn't sure what development had transpired in that span of time which would require my daughter to talk with her grandmother, again. Elizabeth replied, "You'll see..."
So I dialed the number and handed her the phone. When my mother answered, Elizabeth said, "Hi Noni, this is Elizabeth. I'm not feeling well and I think it would make me feel a little bit better if you sang me the rub-a-dub-dub song. Could you please sing it to me?"
I could hear my mother exclaim, "Oh sweetheart, of course I can sing it to you!" and then listened to the familiar, albeit slightly muffled voice, sing to my little girl, from several states away. With one hand on the phone, Elizabeth used her other hand to pull up her pajama top and point for me to rub in the Vick's. She then contentedly smiled around the thumb that was in her mouth as her eyes closed. By the time my mother had finished the song a second time, she was nearly asleep.
The voice which has soothed me for the past 41 years...
.... is now soothing my daughter.
And it's yet another memory, I want to bottle up and keep forever.