“The phone is ringing and you are dreading the message on the end of the line.”
– a prompt for this week’s CW piece.
“You should go home and rest” – the nurse said.
A million thoughts rattled through my brain.
“Is this it? Is this the end of the line?” – I wondered to myself, scared that someone might hear my thoughts.
My mother had been strong her whole life. Now it was my turn to play the part and make her feel at ease. The fact that she was highly sedated gave me extra time to prepare for the role of my life.
From talking to the healthcare professionals and reading between the lines, I knew that my mom’s situation was not easy. There seemed to be little to no hope in their eyes when they spoke about her. It was disheartening, but I appreciated it because it allowed me to prepare myself for the worst.
“There is no reason for you to sit here. We’ve done all we could. It’s late and you must be exhausted after such a day. Go home. We will let you know if there is a change” – the nurse insisted.
Logically thinking, I knew that me sitting there throughout the night was pointless. There was nothing I could do, I was tired and I had work the next day. However, I felt a twinge of guilt when I thought of leaving. People in movies practically live at their loved one’s bedside. Was I calloused? Was I a terrible child? Did that mean that I did not care for my mother?
“No” – I shook my head and decided to go home.
After all, that is what I would recommend to anyone in my shoes.
On my way out, I stopped at my mom’s bed.
I silenced my thoughts for a brief moment and looked at her.
The breathing tube in her mouth.
The IV line in her neck.
All the cables.
Just this morning, I spoke with her. She checked the weather for me before I left for work.
And only a couple of hours later I got the call that she was being taken to the hospital.
“Could I have known?“
“Could I have done something differently?“
“Don’t do this to yourself” – I finally thought to myself and touched her hand.
“I love you” – I said out loud.
Her eyes opened for the first time in hours and she squeezed my hand.
Tears rushed to my eyes but the shock kept them at bay.
The guilt dissipated. I knew that she approved of me going home.
Her eyes closed as quickly as they have opened.
“I’m going to leave” – I said to the nurse.
“Do we have your number in case something happens during the night?” – the nurse asked.
“Yes” – I answered, swallowing hard.
“Alright” – he nodded.
“Also, either I or the nurse that will come in the morning to replace me will give you a call with an update then” – he assured me.
“Thank you” – I said and left.
On my way home, I stopped at a 24h fast food place and grabbed a burger to sustain myself. Only now did the hunger creep in. There was no sign of it all day at the hospital.
Once I got home, I was not sure whether I would be able to sleep or not. With the phone in my hand, I laid down on the couch.
“I wish there was something I could do” – I thought to myself.
“You’ve done all you could.”
“But that’s not enough!“
“It is. It has to be. Go to sleep.”
“I can’t. What if – “
“No “what ifs”. Also, they will call you. You have the phone right here.“
“We will figure it out once the call comes. Now, go to sleep. You need to rest.“
Oddly enough, I drifted away into deep sleep moments after my head touched the pillow.
It was still dark outside when the call came.
“I am calling to give you an update on your mother” – said the voice on the other side of the line.
My heart was almost in my mouth, ready to pop out and leave my lifeless body on the floor. The suspense was killing me. Figuratively speaking.
“She’s stable. I just got here, but I was told she had a peaceful night. I will update you again at the end of my shift, but feel free to call any time to check up on her” – said the nurse.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
My mom lived to see another day…
P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post, so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!
Did you enjoy reading this post? Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic? Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog? Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader? Try SUBSCRIBING.
Want to get to know me better? Check me out on TWITTER @EnneaGramType8.