Mom's Goodbye

Fiction Southeast 2016 Editors Prize 2016

Once inside Hospice I walked to Dad’s room, his door ajar, and saw him no longer tubed up and Mom atop him, fancy, in one of her party dresses with a Jackie O pillbox hat and two-inch heels, whispering in his ear as she moved back and forth in a rocking motion; her eyes closed, her hands caressing his face.

 

I watched him draw his last breath just as she stopped moving. She rolled off, lying still next to his stillness with her arm across his chest, bodies touching as one, a single tear rolling down his cheek onto hers.

 

 

The Story Behind the Story: “Mom’s Goodbye”

 

About twenty-five years ago at a family gathering my cousin’s new husband mentioned in passing that he had walked into his dying father’s hospital room and his mother was lying next to her husband with his IV tube draped across her. A nurse walked in and made her get out of the bed and without arguement she did.

She was a very proper Irish woman with a lovely lilt to her voice and would carry her hand bag with her if she changed chairs in a room or walked into the kitchen.

I tried for years to do justice to this lovely woman and always ended up with a story in the 1500-2000 word range but never felt it was right. Last year I wrote a flash story in the 700 word range and I only became satisfied with it when I hit 100 words and then sent it out and Chris made my day by taking it. It was just one of those stories that took a while to brew.

 

 

 

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