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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hear (07/08/10)

By Dorene Lang


“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You only know dear how much I love you”...

My sister and I sing with every memory we have, falling out of our mouths, and landing on what is left of her. Onto her tiny body held straight by her protruding skeletal frame. The machine, which allowed her breath, now joined her body and became part of her. The sweet machine, the life line that the doctors were removing.

Where did the rest of her go? This is Mama, the strong one. The mama who treated our booboos and tears. The mama who protected us from drunks, and druggies, and life. The one we thought would always be there for us to cling to. Ha!

Dear Lord, we are killing her! The pain that previously had called the doctor in, is slowly erased with more of her life breaths. She is drowning in it. Drowning in the pain, and in the ocean of medicine that is meant to ease her pain, but also limits her breathing. A nearby machine allows me to hear the beat of her heart as it slows. Her eyelids flicker as the machine soon echoes the piercing clamor of a quiet heart.

My tears smear the hand that I have taken to press to my cheek, pressing her into my soul. Mama ! The same way that she had held my hand the many times that I lay in the hospital as a child. The same way that she had prayed air back into my lungs, I pray it into hers. Unlike the yes that she recieved, The Lord said no to mine.

The room takes possession of my focus, anything to avoid this horror. White starched walls, cold as linen. The smell of the disinfectant mixes with the smell of our sweat soaked bodies. Expectant faces surround the bed, fearing the worst and then opening their mouths to scream her back to us. They are rewarded with beeps that begin again. To my ears, it is the drumbeats of her battle.

A horrible laughing inside grows as my eyes seek for anything else to look at. Faces, familiar and strange, as well as strange yet familiar. How they watch her die!
Here we are, my dysfunctional family. A telephone call from a prison with a son inside who missies his mom. My brothers, innocent of this harm to my soul. One of them needing to hear what is happening and the other telling her death out loud. Would she have lasted longer had she not heard the voice slide her into the grave? Maybe not.

Oh it’s so humorous, this crazy messed up family! We surround her, hoping that the damn doctors won’t cut our umbilical cord. Not believing that she would have the audacity to leave us.

Dysfunctional enough to avoid the embrace of comfort that the others might give, and functional enough to need it.

We watch her die.

“Please don’t take my sunshine away”

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This article has been read 547 times
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Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/15/10
Wow this is a very powerful piece. I can feel the anguish and the raw emotion.

I was confused at first, I found myself rereading the first couple of paragraphs.I think you meant to say a breath (noun) or to breathe (verb)in the beginning.

This piece must have been difficult to write. It doesn't matter if it's all fiction or based on fact; it had to take a good deal of courage to write it.
AnneRene' Capp07/16/10
This is so emotionally power packed! I so liked your sentence: Dysfunctional enough to avoid the embrace of comfort that the others might give, and functional enough to need it.
Ruth Brown07/17/10
You captured the feelings so very well.Those days are the hardest here on earth. May God Bless you. Ruth
wendell a brown 07/18/10
I felt your pain, as i read every line...it brought back to my mind my memories of my mother and her last days. As it was a sad time. it was also a jpyful one as her pain and suffering was taken away. The reality of worldly death is hard...but the Spirits return to the Lord is such a blessed time.
I enjoyed the poem as it reminded me at the end of the peace i felt at my mothers bedside.
Mildred Sheldon07/19/10
POWERFUL and so touching. It reminded me of my mothers death. Dysfunctional family and all. Thank God for Kleenex. They sit next to my computer. Keep writing. God bless for this story.
Lollie Hofer07/19/10
You could have been "the fly on the wall" when my own mother passed away. It brings back strong memories and reflections on that day, but not necessarily in a bad way. Thanks for sharing this emotional-packed story.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge07/20/10
Well told story filled with raw emotion, one too many have experienced and will relate to.