That day, a week ago,
what terrible fears did our silence conceal
as we left the hospital and crossed the car park?
I reached out to take your hand, but whether
to offer comfort or seek it I cannot truthfully say.
You'd just been rendered defenceless as a baby.
I longed to hold you then as never before
but, embarrassed and numb inside,
I said and did nothing.
All around us life went on as usual,
totally oblivious to our personal tragedy.
Oh surely, while a heart still beats, there must be hope.
There has to be. Mine was aching. Was our story to end
after only thirty-eight years? Must it end soon - no more to tell?
There is no answer in the chaos of a shattered dream.
Oh what shall I do? I screamed inwardly.
But no one seemed to hear.
I hardly remember the long drive home,
being focused on how to tell our only son
that the sun may soon be setting early.
Gut-wrenching guilt: it should have been me,
as punishment for being the less-than-perfect wife.
On auto-pilot, I demolished the daily chores.
It was only later, alone in the shower, that the dam finally burst.
That evening, we watched a movie together.
It was a sad one, full of ominous subliminals
that served only to increase my sense of impending doom.
I looked at you and stark reality hit me.
Oh God! Will this chair, like my arms, soon be empty?
How can I face a future without you?
But life has no compassion for the selfish.
Over the years I'd developed a child-like dependency,
an assumption that you'd be there for me forever.
Oh how I'd taken you for granted!
Now my foolish complacency had imploded.
Heartless wench! You'll need to grow up fast now
if you're to take the family reins...
STOP! Self-recriminations are futile.
Better to just let the feelings flow -
no one can hide from their own fears,
nor from the harsher lessons of life.
Today, I can still see the consultant's eyes,
hard, from trying too hard to remain aloof from others' sorrow.
Oh yes, I'll remember that face for the rest of my days,
along with the sobering words he uttered without emotion...
as if your beloved heart was merely a clapped-out machine
that they may, or may not, have the ability to fix.
As I sit here in the garden now,
in the bright spring sunshine,
all I can feel is your possible death sentence
hanging heavily in the air...
I am taking a break from blogging for a week or so.
I will truly miss you all, and will be back as soon as I can.
Have a great weekend. xxx