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Poem: My Mother Left Without Saying Goodbye
Diabetes Took My Mother
Dialysis for diabetic patient to clean out toxins in the body.
My Mother Left Without Saying Goodbye
12,000 miles away, a storm is brewing
Not the dark clouds shrouded in midnight hush
But one steeped in veins and blood
Body riddled with regular poking
Searching for the veins
to cleanse, the IV tubes and the sound
of dialysis in the cold harsh room
where nurses fuss a useless fuss
and patients await the eventual silence
when blood no longer runs
and the machine peeps for no one.
12,000 miles away, when day is night
The dreaded call came in the stillness
The quiet of the night turned black
The call that pierced the air
Pierced the heart, oozing…. . the pain
Gushed, feverishly threshing over rocks.
“Mom stopped breathing….,” my brother’s voice trailed
into a silence that deafens.
12,000 miles and the story unfolds
She left in the thick of the night
When the house was still and no one was near
She decided that the time has come
The journey of a thousand hills to yonder
Began with a quiet whisper…the long sign
As life seeped out and the light beyond beckoned
The land where pain has lost its sting
And tears are dewdrops on dainty petals.
12,000 miles and the wails of sorrow
Failed to awaken the dead
Tears flowed onto face like parchment paper
Etched by selfness giving and caring
The arms bulging with swollen veins
The blue and black of cleansing
Now sit like silent stems of lotus
Floating on the seas of tears.
12,000 miles and my tears smart
The face I can no longer see
The hand I can no longer hold
The warmth of her fingers as she
Traced the contours of my face
Tucking my hair behind my ears
all will become the spindly webs
of memory weaving
in and out of this flimsy life.
12,000 miles away and I can’t wait
Across oceans and vast expanse
I flew home for one last look
As she laid in her favorite samfu
A pearl in the mouth
So she’ll reach the pearly gate
Does my momma know I’ve come?
As the wind howls
And the rain falls softly
A river filling up in my heart.
Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages and my mother was one of them. When she was first diagnosed, she was put on a special diet. Despite her attempts to follow a strict diet, her diabetic condition continued on a downward spiral, complicated by high blood pressure. Before long, she was not just on medications, she had to take insulin shots. Even then, her diabetic condition never seemed to respond favorably. Eventually, her condition became so bad, she had kidney failure and she had to do dialysis two times a week. She suffered various side-effects with this treatment—she lost her appetite and had difficulty sleeping.
Living 12,000 miles away from a sick mother can be difficult. My brothers and I talked about the dreaded call in the night. No call can be a good call when it comes in the dead of the night. Even then, when that dreaded call came, it still seemed unreal—that my mother had passed on. She had left and I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I flew 20 hours to get home to see her one last time. I knew I could never talk to her again, but I wanted to say goodbye. The strangest thing happened when I stepped out the cab to get to the wake—the winds howled and the rain came right at that very moment. It was uncanny—but my brothers said that it was mom’s way of greeting me—she was happy I came.
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