Honesty. In life and death.

“Mom?”

“Hi, honey.”

“Mom, I have to tell you something.”

“Ok.”

She held my hand and smiled at me.

“Mom, is it hard for you to concentrate?”

“I don’t know.”

She frowned. 

“It’s because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen.”

“Oh.”

“Mom, I need you to concentrate on what I am saying.”

“Ok.”

Her expression never changed.

“Mom, there is nothing more the doctors can do for you.”

She stared at me.

“Mom...you are going to die soon.”

A long moment passed silently.

“Well, that sucks.”

We all laughed and cried at the same time. 

It was an emotional release. 

She was trying so hard to understand me.

It was awful.

But I was determined.

“Mom.”

“Yes.”

“Listen to me.”

“Ok, I am listening.”

She was with me now.

“You are dying Mom.  There is nothing more the doctors can do.”

Mom stared at me intently.

I started to sob. 

She squeezed my hand.

“Well, the clinic doesn’t think that.”

“You’re right.  But, the doctors called them.”

“Does Connie know?”

Connie was Mom’s favourite nurse.

Then she remembered,

“No, she has left for England already.”

“That’s right Mom.”

Her eyes never left mine.

She didn’t cry.

She was trying to stay focused.

It would be the last true connection we shared. 

Mom asked me about Christmas dinner.

She wondered if I put sausage in the dressing?

“You should.  It makes it good.  There is some in my freezer.”

“Ok. I will find it.”

We spoke about the holiday meal

Where I was to find stocking stuffers hidden for the kids.

She wanted everything to be right for Christmas.

She didn’t know it would never be right without her.

Mom asked me to bring the children up to see her.

I promised to bring them in the morning. 

I didn’t know time would run out.

A visitor stole our moment away.

I will regret being socially polite for the rest of my life.

My sister slept at the hospital.

I went home.

I will never understand why I left.

But I had a strong desire to go home.

At five o’clock the next morning.

Mom yelled out.

As the nurses moved her from the chair to the bed

My sister yelled, “Mom!”

And she responded,

“What babe?”

Her natural response

Became her last words.

Fitting really.

Mom lay there so peaceful.

The laboured breathing had stopped.

The IV was gone.

I laid down beside her.

I hugged her tight.

I kissed her cheek.

The softest, fuzziest cheeks.

I congratulated her on a job well done.

Euphoria flooded through me.

I had Mom back.

The stress and worry was all gone. 

I told her I was so proud of her

And not to worry about us.

My hands moved all over her.

Concern replaced the euphoria.

Something was wrong.

I couldn’t understand.

I even lifted the sheet to investigate.

Then it struck me.

No heartbeat,

No pulse,

Mom wasn’t breathing.

My Mom was dead.

Dead.

Gone.

Intellect made its way through.

As I left the room,

I glanced over my shoulder,

In time to see Dad

Kissing Mom goodbye.

I was overwhelmed

With agonizing grief. 

 

 

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