a girl--another young woman, a soul trapped in a helpless body by a merciless aneurysm. aneurysms don't care if you have children, if you have dreams yet to fulfill, if you are in love. they certainly have no remorse for leaving a daughter, granddaughter, mother, sister and friend with no means to express herself other than tears. so in her bed, she lay, the receptacle for so many tubes and wires as well as for the love of her family, friends and and the one person who kept his hope alive until the very end.
the person--a man, also young and nice looking, came to her room every afternoon and usually again at night to sit and hold her hand until she fell asleep. as the months passed, we all waited for his visits to slow down but he was there, without fail, talking about the weather, music, who had visited her, what he had done that day and often, just sitting there with his hand over hers. every day he asked if anything had changed, would she come out of it soon, did we think she would come out of it ever, was she hurting, could he stay for just a while longer, j u s t a w h i l e...
once i knocked, then walked in to find him asleep--his chair pulled up to her bed, with his head resting by her shoulder and his hand behind her ear, cradling her head. upon waking, his first words to me were "you know, we were supposed to be married three weeks ago".
"i didn't know, no".
her head was shaved from the surgeries and was only an inch long all over except for a curling tendril at each temple. he tucked a curl behind her ear and said, "nothing's changed, has it, baby? it's just postponed a little".
and then again to me, "i love her".
i explained that i would come back with her medications that night and stepped out. i was halfway down the hall when tears blurred my vision. i sat down up against the wall and cried...
for her, for him, for the unfairness of fate.
what a cruel blow to dangle love and happiness in front of hungry eyes only to cruelly snatch it away.
this was a place for the elderly, for those who had lived life, not those just beginning to wet their feet in it. it wasn't for young people.
it wasn't for her.
she wasn't supposed to be here.
they should have been out laughing together, reminiscing about their recent wedding.
but it never happened.
no, instead she was here. a girl, pretty and still, able only to cry and blink.
and cry she did...
when he would leave at night, she would cry herself to sleep, when certain songs played on the small portable radio by her bed, she would cry...
and as she was dying today, he asked some of us to stay. as her last breath shuddered, a tear fell. he thanked us all, hugged each of the nurse aides who had tended to her as though she was their own sister, then asked to borrow a phone to call the funeral home.
he had walked beside the stretcher as she came in,
ridden beside her in the ambulance to her many hospital visits
and would stay with her, it seemed, until someone said 'no more'.
i told him to take as long as he wanted to say goodbye and then, if he would let me, i'd arrange a ride home for him. he nodded, went in and shut the door.
about ten minutes later, he walked out and met the gentleman from the funeral home coming down the hall.
and so today, another petal fell from the flower of mankind.
i told someone tonight "it isn't right"
to which he responded
"it's never right".
i know that but
i don't know.