Strong enough to know it is your time.
Time is just preception.
You’re slightly rude at times but that’s okay. Certain days can be close to unbearable yet we somehow get through. If it wasn’t until Amy looked me closely in the eye and said “you’re only living like you’re the victim, try living with yourself and you’ll see just how challenging the condition is.” Take every word with a grain of salt because there is no sympathy in bitterness and right now that is all we need. Some days you’re hard to approach but as the day moves forward as it always does you seem to lighten up a little and everything starts getting brighter.
English breakfast - a drop of milk and maybe some honey if your feeling frisky. Always your favorite - always a blast come 9am. They told me the tumor wouldn’t last long yet it seems to be taking its time. Why don’t you tell it to get a move on then? Enough of this nonsense you don’t spend a day out of bed when you have things to do. Maybe if you had a better diet you would be feeling better by now. Honestly.
I’ve made you some soup to keep you through the winter and maybe even spring so there is no reason for not eating. Don’t fill yourself up on junk - that’s enough. You have plenty of good food I make for you. How come you look so pale? Go for a walk - freshen up.
Your feet are so cold. And you are losing so much weight. Why do you keep hugging me like it is your last?
My principal rushed into the classroom, looked at me with great sympathy. I can still remember the worried eyes as he told me to walk down to reception but never why. Father was waiting in the car and yet still no word as to what was happening. We drove to the hospital everything moving so quickly I couldn’t mentally keep up, I was nine. Down a corridor then another, everything was so white, so new. There was Ma and her eyes were so red, I had never seen her cry until now. Finally, there you were, stiff as a table on that bed. Already at peace. I held your hand and Ma told me to say good bye. I guess you were going somewhere. Then your saliva clogged your mask and made funny noises - they were so loud. Everyone started calling out for a nurse thinking something terrible was happening and I could see them starting to cry in fear. But I didn’t want to waste my last few moments with you. I wasn’t frightened. I’d worked out this was the end and I knew these were the last noises I would ever hear you make. Your last communication with us. Still clear as day.
Walking into your room that night was the strangest I have ever felt. Everything was as you had left it that morning. Hairbrush still out, bed unmade, toothbrush still damp. Yet you were gone. Words cannot describe how odd it felt to sit in your room. It still smelt like you. I was so young yet I understood you weren’t coming back. I couldn’t stand seeing Ma’s pain. You two had been through so much.
I wish you had seen me grow up. I wish you could be here with me now and tell me wise stories to live my life by like you used to. I wish you had met all my lovers and seen me graduate. Ma says I remind her of you more and more. I like to think that is a good thing, she says you were strong. Strong enough to live through war. Strong enough to endure an abusive husband. Strong enough to live through cancer. Strong enough to ask Ma to turn the machine off. Strong enough to know it was your time.