A Day Of Rest
I felt her forehead and was relieved to see that the fever was going down. She had drifted off to sleep and as there were no more medication to take for another hour, I decided that I had a moment to make myself a cup of tea. I was careful to turn the tv volume down but not off as I left the room. I don’t want to deprive her of her shows. while I was away. It seemed like such a peaceful time. The sun was shining. I could hear the children outside playing, and all the laughter. I think it was Sunday. Yes it was. I boiled the water, poured it into a cup and sweeten my tea like I had done everything for the last few weeks, with loving, dutiful detachment. But I did not know any other way to be. A man only watches his mother dying once in his life. The first time is the last time. Being here now and watching happen, I felt it was all remote, like a television show. I felt like my body was programed to do tasks and say things, but I was watching from someplace else. A hiding place.
I took my cup over to the window so I could feel the warm sunlight on my face and hear the laughter. It feels like rain in here. It was such a fine day. I know she would have like to go out for a walk on a day like today, visit friends, talk. She used to take me on walks with her all the time when I was little. I’m not little anymore. I’m too damned grown. My sisters have taken our father out for a meal and some rest, maybe even a smile. Everything went downhill so fast. We didn’t know it was cancer until about a month ago. By then it was too late. She was such a strong woman. Up to a week ago, she was comforting us instead of the other way around. It’s hard to imagine a Sunday going by with her lying in bed. But she hasn’t been out for a while, really. It’s silly of me to dream otherwise. She sleeps whenever she can, but most of her days and nights are filled with pain. Somedays, there is more pain there than her. And I and shamed to say that I don’t know that woman, whom I love, who is lying there being eaten up slowly by death. This is when the memories start and you can’t hold them back. Soon this will be all I have of her. It doesn’t seem like this could really be.
Nothing much remains to be done. There’s still time before the next round of pills. I will bring her water then. I will wipe away her tears and listen to her moan until she at rest again. May the rest she needs come soon. I prayed that it would come soon.