My name is Aria, and this music box is my special treasure. I'll tell you why.
When I was six years old, I got sick. My Mama took me to the doctor. The doctor had to be very busy, because she was too impatient. She told my Mom I just had a stomach flu. She wanted us to leave, but my Mom wouldn't. She said, "My daughter has been in pain for two days. I know something is seriously wrong. If you won't help us, I want to see another doctor."
The doctor left the room. Mama heard her, because the doctor didn't even try to be quiet. She said, "Would you go talk to this mother. Maybe she'll listen to you. There's nothing wrong with her daughter."
The other doctor came in. He asked, "What seems to be the problem?" Mama described how sick I'd been and pointed out on my tummy where the pain was. This doctor had a soft voice. He explained that he needed to feel my tummy and then he'd ask me questions. He poked here and there, asking me how this felt and what it felt like. Then he said, "We need more tests."
Later, he told my Mama that we had to go to the big city because I needed surgery. My Mama was right. He said I had a dermoid cyst on my ovary and both the cyst and the ovary needed to be removed.
In the city, we waited at the hospital, and my great aunt and uncle came to wait with us. Auntie Agnes brought a gift for me. She said since I had to have surgery while still such a little girl, I needed something special. When I opened the present, I found this music box.
Auntie Agnes told me she had received the music box as a gift from a friend. But, the cameo figure on the cover reminded her of my Mama. See the cameo? My Mama's beautiful hair is...was long and thick like that. My aunt said that I could look at the cameo if I was lonesome for Mama while I got better after the surgery. And, Auntie said, as she wound the little key under the box and opened it, I could listen to the melody inside the box.
That happened when I was little. Now, I'm thirteen. This year my mama got sick. For two months the specialists told her nothing was wrong. Then they changed the story. Mama was sick after all. She had cancer.
So, my Mama lies buried just north of town, now, in a beautiful spot shaded by a big tree. I look at the cameo carved on the top of this music box that I treasure. I can see my Mama's profile and remember the scent of her hair and how soft it was while I listen to the music.
Read more articles by Edy T Johnson or search for articles on the same topic or others.
A very touching story, and since you usually write non-fiction, I was wondering if this is true? Beautiful Edy, but also heart-rending, and tells some truths about the medical profession; very nicely done. Enjoyed the read, but (What's the MNFMFWM'T? I guess I'm dense.) Great storyteller, my friend...and struck a chord in my heart as I read.
Oh, Edy, this is just as touching as when you read it in person to us at the Minnesota Nice Full Moon FaithWriters Mini 'Treat (MNFMFWM'T). You relate your slice of life stories as eloquently in writing as you do verbally. Thank you, dear friend!
Edy, you do such a beautiful job of speaking in the character's voice. I love this story and could feel the emotions of the MC. Your heart for your loved ones shows in your work. What a treasure you are.