I am thinking that it was because I had my sunglasses on and because I was not wearing my sapphire ring. The salon sapphire ring, that is now mine, was given to me by Mom. She wore this beauty on her right hand for years until she handed it down to me. I adore that ring. Not only is it exquisite to look at and to wear but it reminds me of her. She never took the ring off. She stuffed turkeys with it, gardened with it, talked with it, administered enemas with it (a family favorite event. Not.), polished silver with it, spanked us with it, swam with it, coached softball with it, made crab soup and herb bread with it, took our temperatures with it, raised four children with it, suffered breast cancer and treatments with it, and suffered brain cancer and treatments with it all while wearing that sapphire ring. Surely this is why she does not know who I am today? I am not wearing it now. I take it off in the summer months because I am afraid that I will ruin it with all of my own activities.
"I'll give you a hint," I say. "I am your favorite child" (my siblings still think that each one of them is her favorite, but they are mistaken. I am. Why else would she name me after her?). Still no recognition. "I share your name. What's your name?", I coax. "Martha," she says. "Yes Mom! Great! Now what do you call me?" We are outside at the Barclay enjoying the beautiful sunshine. I take off my sunglasses and look into her soft blue eyes but still not a flicker of recognition. Determined I say, "My nickname rhymes with Barfie." A slow smile appears and then she laughs. "Marfie!", she says. Relieved I say, "Yes! Excellent! I knew you would remember!" Her smile fades and we sit looking at each other for a moment. I marvel at her memory and how all she needs is just a little coaxing. She knows me. I know she knows me. Of course she does. How does a mother forget her own child?
We sit silently for a moment and then I ask her what she is thinking about. She gets annoyed and says, "Why are you asking me so many questions? Who are you?"
Next time I will wear the ring. She will know me then. I know she will.