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.
holloway64 holloway64
46-50, M
12 Responses Oct 11, 2012

Such sadness. I wish your mother was still with you.

I know what you had to go through. I was 24 and still felt like a child at the time when I too watched my mother die from cancer that was too late to cure. I dispensed her medication to her because we lived in the same apartment building. I couldn't give her the insulin shots because I fear needles. I reminded her to check her blood sugar and bought her Ensure drinks because she stopped eating. I was the one who called an ambulance when she lay on her bed unable to draw a full breath or speak. That was the last time she was home. She died in the hospital a month later, February 16th 2005, a week before my birthday. I was the one who went through her belongings because no one else had the strength, not even my older sister. I was the baby of the family but took the responsibilities no one else wanted.

This brought tears to my eyes. I can only say how sorry I feel for you and your family. You wrote it over a month ago now.....I don't know what to say or ask.......

It happened in 1987. But some things are as clear as day. But I wrote to the feelings, not specific events.

Thanks for telling me that. She's at peace now. :)

This is beautifully expressed, Holloway, albeit it very sad. I am very sorry for your grief and loss. Peace and love be with you.

i took xare of my exs father for 3 years while he battled cancer...i found him when he passed...nothin makes it easier to deal with but im thankful that i was tha one that got those precious moments of his life...your an incredibly strong person

I can feel your pain and sickening despair in this. My Mom died in September from cancer and I cared for her from her diagnosis in March until her death. She had some physical pain, but her's was a brain tumor, so most of her pain was mental anguish at knowing she was slowly fading away...as were her memories of her kids and of her husband...and of not having the strength or coordination to sit up in bed, or even feed herself. I watched her slowly losing herself and her dignity...and becoming someone I did not know anymore. I prayed that her end to her suffering would come quickly, which made me only feel guilt because of my thoughts. I am so sorry that your mother and you and your family are another victim of cancer.

Thank you. I'm sorry about your mother. But i Still feel it's better that their suffering is over.

I do, too. Most of my pain and grieving were when she was here and suffering. I have has a much easier time dealing with her death than with her deterioration.

I am so sorry. Your story was so well-written and I could feel your pain so deeply.

I am so sorry for your suffering. My prayers are with you.

thank you. but this happen awhile ago

You're welcome. I'll say a prayer for you anyway, if that's ok. I'm sure you still miss her every day.

You brought tears to my eyes. I cared for my mother as well, so it hit me already but you wrote it out so beautifully! I wish I was able to express myself like you do. You're a poetic man, sir!

you can. give yourself a chance

This story made me cry. Being with loved ones. During the end of their life is truly beautiful. God bless you and your family. I will pray for you. You need to tell her it okay to go. This will help her and you. Peace and love Miss Julie

This is so beautiful, yet sad, but captivating! I assume this is a true story?

"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."
I'm lost in your words. So much fear, anger, grief, duty, love and reflection captured in these two sentences.

thank you.