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  • Momma used to rock me to sleep in the big maple rocking chair with the beige cushions. Whenever I was sick, or tired, or sad, or just needed to be held, she would set me on her lap and gently rock as she sang Scarlet Ribbons. I felt so protected and peaceful in those moments, listening to the song about a parent wanting nothing more than to grant the prayers of their child as my mother held me close.

    The last time she held me in this same rocker, I was a gangly teen. Curling up as tight as I could to fit in between the arms of the chair, she pulled me in and said, "You'll never be too big for me to rock you." She sang and brushed my tears away, and I knew that somehow she would always be there to comfort me when I needed her, to take away all my hurt and pain. She'd already had cancer once by then, and really it should have been me holding her, taking away her hurt and pain. But she never missed a chance to comfort those around her, especially her children.

    The last time I saw her, before they took her away, I placed a scarlet ribbon in her still graceful hand. And sometimes, when I'm awake in the middle of the night, I can hear her sing.
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