Touching Mortality


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Everything shattered with the ringing of a phone
The unthinkable had happened,
Death had stretched out his hand and touched my family
Now we were pawns in a game where loss was not an option
I do not remember much before that phone call
It is as if a whole space opened up within me
I have never filled that space, it remains a vacuum of forgetting
I do not remember much of the drive to the hospital
My thoughts were a swirl and already my soul was bent, pleading, begging
Fear walked beside me but I walked ahead of its silent tread
I remember standing at the door of a room white with cold
The clean smell of antiseptic filled me with revulsion
Time caught me frozen in her trap, fear watched and I stepped in
You lay like a helpless child, sheets up to your chin, plastic tubes covered your face
It looked wrong, you were stretched on your back, I knew you’d be uncomfortable
I walked towards you, I could hear nurses whispering in the background,phones ringing
All else disappeared around us, I sat on your bed and looked into your face
You recognised me, they warned me you might forget, but you knew your little girl
Your eyes were wild that first morning, the hunter had you in his sights
I wanted to shout out and have him aim at me, make me his prey, not you,
never you
Here you lay, the woman I owed my life-blood to, helpless and fragile
I had never seen you lie so quietly, I could feel death’s touch in this room
I took your hand in mine, I had to hold it with both of mine without letting it fall
You looked at me then and I could see my mom hidden behind a dark veil of
fear
With a look I tried to tell you we would win, death had no place here
Did you understand me mom? Did my love penetrate your fear’s prison?
I sat there for three days, it felt like three hours, waiting for you
The first time I looked away, you gripped my hand with your left
I heard my name barely whispered, my heart stopped and ecstasy filled my
soul
It was the sweetest sound I had ever heard, you gave me my name all those years ago
Now I heard it from lips I was told would never talk again, it was the first
victory
Mama…That day the phone rang, death touched us; our love chased him away…
Mama…

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