Monday, April 11, 2011

To Know

My hands were clammy and trembled as I crept into the room, afraid of what was to come. Even though this was a new room, a new hospital, my gut knew there would be no new developments.

I watched as his feeble chest rose and fell, remembering the evenings we spent in the recliner together sharing popcorn. His breaths were as carefree as they were when we rode horses each year on Thanksgiving.

He was not the same, though. I hadn't heard him speak in days. His labored wheezes haunted me in my sleep.

That invincible man was crumbling slowly. I watched helplessly as the cancer crumbled the image of my childhood hero, weakening his body into nothing that resembled Poppa.

As I stared at the ceiling tiles, counting slowly to pass the time and praying I would look down and hear his laugh, I heard the doctor's strong footsteps come around the corner.

"Ladies, we need you to make a decision," he stated with insincere compassion.

We huddled together, sweeping away one another's tears gently until there were too many tears to wipe away.

We already knew the answer. That strong willed stubborn man who taught me so much would never want to be lying in the bed helpless and distressed like he was.

With one last breath, he was gone.

There would be no more suffering for him.

There would be no more horse back rides to the gas station to buy ice cream for me.

He would not be in pain any longer.

Our pain was just beginning.

As tears flooded my eyes, I glanced outside to see that rain was pouring down the window panes.

In that instant I knew, never again would I stand beside him at the water trough, washing our boots as he smiled and told me he loved me.

Thankfully, I don't need the water hose or his voice to know he did.

This post was written in response to the prompt by The Red Dress Club, based on your response to a photo of a sprayer on a water hose. As always, constructive criticism is welcomed. 


The mad woman behind the blog said...

I am so sorry for your loss.
But this post: so beautifully written, so heartfelt.
Well done.

Jenna said...

oh honey. so well done. the emotion was powerful, and so tender at the same time!!

Erin said...

I love how the memory and the emotion flowed free, despite the pain it causes you!
What a beautiful life!

Galit Breen said...

Oh, I have tears. You really captured beautiful love, the ugliness of cancer, and broken hearts here.

I am so very sorry.

I loved the words trembled, insincere compassion, and sweeping away tears because of their visual poetry.

The ending is truly powerful.

Elena said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Very powerful post and I loved how the hose was worked in at the end.

Erica M said...

"...washing our boots..."

What great imagery. Thanks for sharing.

Rebel Chick said...

This was really beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Melanie said...

So sorry for your loss. I felt the love you have for your Dad shone through this entire piece.

I love the way you used the image of water in the last few lines - with your tears flooding, the rain pouring down, the water trough and the washing of the boots...great use of imagery.

Visiting from TRDC.
Beautiful piece!

Jennifer said...

I love how you took something so mechanized, the Doctor's rote response and wrapped it in poetry making it achingly personal.

""Ladies, we need you to make a decision," he stated with insincere compassion.

We huddled together, sweeping away one another's tears gently until there were too many tears to wipe away." said...

This is a beautiful tribute. My heart really felt for you guys.

I'm so sorry.

And it was beautifully written, as well.

Sluiter Nation said...

I love all the water imagery in this piece. Very lovely even though it's oh-so-sad.

I am so sorry for your loss. He would be proud at the beautiful way you express your love.

BalancingMama (Julie) said...

This post was so sweet and genuine with emotion. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your memories with Poppa.

angela said...

This is very powerful and heartfelt. I am so very sorry for your loss.

Though sad, I loved the part about wiping tears until there were too many tears to wipe. Something about the idea of women finding comfort and strength in each other was just beautiful here.

Renee said...

This is so sad, yet it tells how much you thought of him. That you knew he wouldn't want to be held on to that way. That you don't need a hose to know he loves you.

Writerly Wanna Be said...

A fresh loss in my heart, writing is healing. A beautifully written piece.


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