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Spaghetti sauce and Gatorade.

How can I sit on the computer when my life is being torn apart? Nothing else to do I guess, but sit in the silence and wait for something, anything, to happen.

My mother, the one who forced me to lead this life I do, the one who made me who I am, is strapped to a bed in a hospital. Tucked away into the most feared three letters a person can face. ICU. It sounds foreboding, doesn't it? Ominous. Like the lights should dim and the wind should howl, and somewhere in the background dramatic music should be played.

"She stopped breathing last night, and she's on life support. The doctors told me there's a fifty-fifty chance that she just won't come out of the hospital. We have to be prepared for the worst."

We went for pancakes. Pretended he hadn't said those words to me. I hadn't seen my uncle Joe in months. Reunions are never as sweet as they are in books. The pancakes tasted like cardboard and I couldn't swallow my tea. Stop it, I should have shouted. Stop acting like there's nothing wrong, like this is just another day. Don't laugh at your own jokes, don't laugh at all. We shouldn't be allowed to laugh.


There's no point in visiting, they said. Artificial sleep, they said, she wouldn't even know you were there. Drugs cloud her mind and keep her body from wasting energy on silly things like her grown daughter standing at the foot of her bed, clutching a stuffed animal and staring at the tubes in her arms and her nose. Fight off the infection. Breathe, one more time. Live. She can't do that when I'm there. Why don't I get to hold her hands, assure her I'm there even though she won't know until she opens her eyes? Why can't I touch her face to make sure she's still warm, tuck her hands under the hospital blankets, and wait for the drug-induced slumber to stop?

Critical condition.

My mom and I got along when I was a girl. She was my best friend when I was a teenager. She still is. She could always manage to make me laugh, or smile, or cry when I needed to feel lighter. Night-Night, Sugar Bee. Mommy loves you. I hated when she did that, when she made me feel like a child in a one-piece sleeper. But I couldn't ignore the warmth it always pooled in my stomach, left my heart lighter. I would sleep, because my mother assured me safety. Night-Night.

"Mom's taken a turn for the worse. She might not make it. Tell your brother, wake him up. Good morning, by the way."

And in the end, when I'm looking my dad in the eye and his lips are trembling, I don't know what to say. Are you making dinner tonight? Are you going to watch the hockey game? Is mom still alive?

My hands are cold.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
I'm so, so sorry. *sends you my strength*
Apr. 24th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
*hugs tight*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


TV -- Tina -- it all began tonight
nnyL haraS

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