Mom's Story

A KINDER PURGATORY
(4/22/07)


once
the baseball
of a brain tumor
was removed
from my
mother's head
all the pain
due to pressure
was thankfully
relieved

the worst casualty
of the following
radiation treatments
was her sense
of taste

"everything
tastes like
shit"

she told me

however
once those sessions
were finally complete
her taste buds
resumed normal function
in a little more
than a month
causing even the most
pedestrian of meals
to seem like
sensory magic

BLT's
Schlotsky's sandwiches
and root beer floats
caused her to roll
her eyes
and sigh
with delight

eventually
the cancer
came back
but instead
of causing
further pain
it merely detached her
from the more unpleasant
thoughts and musings
of her terminal
condition

she imagined
children
pets
and happenings
from her past
were going on
all around her
in the present
tense

consternation
was her most
extreme emotion
when thinking that
we had left
kids behind

pets out
in the rain

or that
we should
be getting ready
for a family trip
instead of just
sitting there

no fear

no anger

oh
the last few weeks
were not pretty
when she was
no longer able
to feed
dress
or get herself
to the bathroom
when the need
arose

and
even though
she could no
longer speak
I could tell
that she was
irritated
by those
circumstances
having had a lifetime's
experience
of reading those eyes
for their intended
meanings

a shitty deal
to die like that
at 65

otherwise healthy

unfortunately
there have been
many younger

many
in more pain

that would have
traded
outcomes with her
in a heartbeat

she
was a good person
and deserved
much better

I am grateful
that it wasn't
any worse

as for what
I deserve
I am grateful
for another day
without knowing
that my
final end
has begun