A splinter of light streamed into the hallway; a reminder of the many
blessings in my life. The bedroom door creaked as I slowly nudged my
head in. I could hear that she had finally fallen asleep; her breathing
was deep and regular. Quietly I crossed the worn threshold into her
room; the lamp on the oversized oak night table gently glowed outlining
her contented, angelic face. Outside, the moon silently peered through
the parted curtains casting shadows of dancing figures on the pink rose
wallpaper that framed her bed. The house was quiet. I felt the comfort of
her room and for a moment indulged myself in the many memories that
lingered in the walls. As my eyes adjusted to the golden glow, I quietly
gazed from one corner of the room to the other, as I had a 1000 times
before, then smiled, as I had 1000 times before. Creeping towards her,
I gently pull up the bed covers and tenderly kiss her cheek; her eyelids
fluttered for just a moment. Turning off the table light and looking back at
the angel in my life I whisper, “I love you.” I love you echoes in my mind
as I quietly leave the room, closing the door behind me, trusting the
moonlight to be her sentry for the night.
Back in my own room alone, I think to myself; she’s all I have left. I've
lost so much, but without her, I would have lost my mind. I know I owe
my existence and sanity to her.
My thoughts wash backwards against time to my first loss; my dad.
He had been so ill, it was a relief, I suppose. But what I didn't know, was
that it was the only the beginning of the losing race ahead.
I can still hear my husband’s confident voice whispering in my ear,
“we can beat this ya’ know.” He joked that he didn't know which was
worse, his cancer or their cure; but we knew. The travel between Dallas
and Chicago for monthly treatments became harder,our nights more
sleepless. Months crawled by as he became more ill. Then suddenly
there were no more Chicago flights.
With back to back losing races, I had lost the two most important men
in my life. I was being crushed at work and could no longer keep up with
the “pack.” Leaving no other options, I was fired. I didn't fight it; I just
dropped out. I knew I couldn’t keep the pace. Each new step brought
pain and I continued to fall further behind. I was losing the race and
then…I lost the house. I wanted to withdraw and shut the world out. I
was tired and thought that eternal sleep might be my only win.
In the quiet of my bath, slowly I submerged under the warm, still
water. The world around me blurred. How peaceful death must be. Then
I thought of her, the angel in my life. My reliance on her and her reliance
on me swelled in my mind. I emerged. The bathroom air felt cool on my
warm skin. I breathed.
I turned down my bed and crawled under the safety of the covers. She
is my strength, I thought. I closed my eyes, believing that tomorrow, with
her, there would be renewed strength and a race that I could win.
I said goodbye to my losses and gave thanks for a new start. Then
closing my eyes, I said a prayer for my angel.
A splinter of light streamed in from the window; a reminder of the
many blessings in my life. I love you mother. You are my heart.