My eyes closed, I hear the buzzing and beeping of the hospital with the occasional dinging of an elevator down the hall. I sit in a faux leather chair that squeaks to even the slightest movement. The gentle mummering of familiar voices fill the room. Yet with all their familiarity, I can hear the strain, the struggle behind their words. I can hear in their voices sadness, pain and false hope that ripped me to my core.
I open my eyes to gaze upon her small form curled in a familiar shape. My father next to her, his powerful body shrunk into itself, his face aged and sagging. My older brother leaning over her tiny form whispering in her ear.
I had earlier done the same and had whispered my love to her. Something I had told her regularly since my early teens when I had figured if I needed love I must give it first. A twisted experiment since it both failed and succeeded. I never got her to express it in such an open manner but… Over time I started to recognize her own need for kindness. I remember how she would shrug, not really believing me. Yet I kept on finding strength in giving her what we both needed. Our relationship was always complicated, full of unnecessary conflict. A constant power struggle of sorts. She would not let me finish telling her a story, instead stuck on a mispronounced word. One where she needed me to remain a small child and I… I in my thirties no longer able to play that part.
As I sat, I had no idea where to place my hands. Folding, unfolding them, pressing down my shirt. My feelings of guilt twisting inside of me for all I did not do. Feelings of unresolved issues and my deep love for her. A love I never could put in a proper place.
I watched as the sun rose outside her hospital window. Our small facility up high looking over our small valley bright and promising. Our little town dressed up in sunshine gold. I watched it in awe and knowing… For all the light my mother’s flame was casting shadow. Dimming forever her voice, her scent and touch. All that is between us not longer in motion and… I still don’t know what to do except remember love and hope it’s enough.