I remember when they took you there, when they knew it was getting close and you really didn’t have a choice. I remember how the air was a little tighter and the obvious a little more obvious there. When you walked in you could no longer deny what was the next step in the plan of life. That’s how it is on the inside of nursing homes or hospital facilitates, they have a way of making me feel like death is crawling up inside my chest and, out of fear of what would happen if I sit there for too long, I go outside because that is the only place that I can find relief. It’s the only way that I can feel the relief of spitting death out of my chest, by clumsily walking to the outside garden provided (there is always an over done garden usually with some sort of stone looking fountain so maybe I’m not alone in all this) and taking tremendously deep breathes and looking up at the sky as if to remind my body “you are alive, you are alive”, or, maybe its for my soul.
After hours and hours of sitting in a calm colored room filled with deep reds and sun shining on dirt brown, I knew I needed a break. I needed a break from sitting in a room trying to act like the thing that was happening wasn’t really happening. Maybe it was because I couldn’t look in your eyes anymore, or maybe it was because I had to pee, who knows. All I know is I left the room for a stroll around slow death valley, or as people tend to call it, the hospice center. After one too many turns in the maze of halls I somehow got lost. Then the world began to spin, in my frantic search for your room. I got lost in the indoor prison of beige colored walls and, after turning corner and corner and corner they felt like they were closing in. All I could smell were burnt potatoes wafting from everyone’s rooms and families talking softly about what to do and people in their bed dying and going over every little day of their lives wishing they had more but they don’t. And I begin to run because I know that’s you, I know that’s what you are doing and I don’t want to miss a second of you. I don’t want to miss a second of your warmth or the smell of your weathered skin. I don’t want to miss another millisecond of your rough over worked hand holding mine. Running faster and faster I still can’t reach your room and the beige colored walls swallow me up and my lings feel like they are about to rip out of my chest. I can’t miss another minute of your beautifully, cut short life. I run and run along these creme colored walls, along the windowless plaster prison walls in a place that takes no survivors. I run and run and run, how big could this place be? Finally I hear the all too familiar voice of my mom, I smell the tartness of my grandmas perfume and I see you. I haven’t missed it, that greedy disease hasn’t stolen you away from me just yet. And, before I slip quickly back into that room so I can hold your hand I say a very quiet prayer thanking god for those extra five minutes.