Tonight I Mourn For Her
Tonight I lay in bed and mourn for her, although she is not dead. I’m well aware that a dire pain is coming my way. I’m more than sure that it’s coming. I fear it's effect. People will tell me, 'That’s life' or ‘time is a healer.’ But healing is forgetting. ‘I will never forget her?’ The smell of candy on her skin, or the way she breathes me in when she kisses me. Should I forget all those things so I could save my sanity.
She will be gone in a month or so. The doctor has confirmed it. The white cells have been defeated or just too damn tired to fight. The chemo has damaged her will. She cried for hours the first time her hair fell out, stuck in her hands has like fairy floss. She hid in the bathroom for three hours. I eventually broke the door down when I no longer could hear her sobs. The image of her asleep on the floor made me sick to my stomach that I had to run to the kitchen basin and throw up again for the second time that day.
I’m having constant nightmares of her little coffin being set down into the soil. And when I wake from this dreadful dream which will soon turn into a reality I cannot help but throw up all over my duvet. The doctor’s words of ‘There’s nothing else we can do’ plays over and over in my mind. The smell of death is quite recognizable to me, I’ve always thought it had an icy acerbic stench to it. It has been almost a decade since both my brothers had passed but the guilt has still not left me. I should have joined them for their adventures of Vietnam, which in reality was an obvious mass butchery of thousands of young men. Perhaps if only I stood with gallantry beside them back then who knows if fate would have kept at least one of them even till now. Only if God took me then, I would be resting in peace maybe in a better place instead of having to see my only child at only eight shrivel away.
I could still hear the shriek of anguish from my mother’s voice as she held that fatal letter in her hands, being told that her two boys were never to return. Two years later my mother was found by me, dead in her bed. She had simply put an end to her torment with a bottle of valium. I didn’t comprehend her pain at the time, had no idea that the pain of losing a child was the most torturous form of punishments a person can face. Like an eternal death sentence of the soul.
I can no longer bear my thoughts, I need to get up, I need to see her. So I get out of bed and make my way down the dark narrow hall. The dead silence of the night enhances the ruffling of the carpet under my feet. I stop in front of the violet colored door, this door forces me to remember happier days. Just before she got sick she had demanded that we paint this door violet, she said it was the color of happiness. I make sure to turn the knob of this door gently aware of its squeaking. How many times have I stood feeling fulfilled in front of this same door as she sat in her bed in anticipation for me to read to her the awaited bed time story. I dread the day when the only remain would be the memory of her behind this door.
With quiet steady movement I walk towards the sleeping figure. I watch to see if she is breathing and I’m assured by the sight of the stable budge from her little ribs. I look down at her innocent face and feel a pang of love rising from my chest, while involuntary sobs of grief I know so well pour out. Why not me? Why her? Is this some type of cruel test by God? To tease me with a gift, then take it away. No not just take it away but watch it suffer. To watch her suffer. As though she senses my presence Isabella rubs her dozy eyes with her small fists and looks up at me and asks.
‘Daddy why are you crying?’
‘Me cry? No Bella it’s the angels playing in my eyes, making me all teary.’
‘The angels of Doomsdale? Tell me their story again daddy.’
‘Once upon a time there was the Queen of Doomsdale who was worried about the newborns of the town. Most seemed to be dying from a rare unknown disease. The queen believed that they were cursed and needed some protection. So she bargained with the Goddess of security to send her an angel for each new born to protect them and also the towns people.’
‘Did they protect the bad people as well?’ She asked her father.
‘Yes each person whether good or bad is born with an angel sitting just there,’ I touch her right shoulder. ‘It usually sits on their right shoulder, and when the person is bad the angel begins to move away slowly. Every time the person lies or hurts somebody the angel feels pain, so it begins to move further and further away until one day it disappears and the bad person is left all alone without the protection from the angel.’
Isabella looks up at me in astonishment as her small green eyes glow.
‘Can you see if my angel is on my shoulder?’
‘It sure is, and it’s having a conversation with my angel, they are making jokes and laughing.’
‘Can you ask when she’s going to let my hair grow back?’
I swallow hard and almost choke on my words. Now I’m holding back my tears really hard.
‘She said she’s working on it.’ I say with a forced smile. Guilt consumes me, knowing full well that both our angels have deserted us long ago.