Author Topic: And then...nothing.  (Read 1061 times)

BADGE OF HONOR

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And then...nothing.
« on: May 12, 2010, 05:53:06 am »
It was the end: September 21.

I came home from school to a houseful of anxiety.  My mother, in her usual chair.  My father, sitting nearby.  I could tell something was wrong even before I heard her short, shallow gasps.  She had choked on a cream cheese danish--she often had trouble swallowing food--and had gone into respiratory distress.  Her lungs finally lost the fight, but her body just didn't know it yet.

I think mom knew she was going to die that day.  She insisted that we call my sister, so that she could talk to her one last time with that wasted, wrecked voice.  She bore all of our ministrations with her usual stoicism--or perhaps just trying to breathe took so much concentration that she couldn't complain.  I remember, far into the night, discussing whether to give her more of the morphine that the hospice worker said might help.  "I don't want to kill you," I said.  She just looked at me.

At some point in the night she grew too weak to cough, so we took turns pounding her back.  It must have hurt.  In the morning, she told my dad "Happy birthday."  I don't know but I think those were her last words.

Later in the day.  Everyone else had left.  I was sitting by her bed, holding her hand when the realization slowly penetrated her breathing had changed, transformed from the tortured rasps of a runner to something almost mechanical.  It took me even longer to realize that she was no longer conscious.  I knew she wasn't ever going to wake up.  Just looking at her body heaving with every deep, slow, gurgling breath...I was intimately familiar with it.  I'd been keeping her alive for six months.  I'd known it was coming.  It was almost a relief to see the end...almost.

Still later.  My dad and the hospice lady had returned.  I went to the bathroom.  Perhaps mom had been waiting for me to leave the room, because when I came back her breathing had changed again.  Quiet breaths, with long pauses in between, pauses growing longer and longer.  I remember the sunlight streaming sideways into the room, touching on her beautiful white hair.  I remember crying as quietly as I could.  I remember my dad saying to her, "Shh.  It's okay, you can go now.  It's okay."  Eventually there were no more breaths.

And that was the end.
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

Lies

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 05:58:51 am »
Wow Badge...

I don't know what to say...

It's both beautiful and sad...

*hugs*
Standing above the crowd,
He had a voice that was strong and loud and I
Swallowed his facade cuz I'm so
Eager to identify with
Someone above the ground,
Someone who seemed to feel the same,
Someone prepared to lead the way, and
Someone who would die for me.

Will you? Will you now?
Would you die for me?
Don't you fuckin lie.

NotPublished

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 06:30:45 am »
That really touched me Badge...

Sorry to hear about that
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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 01:38:03 pm »
ATTN: Good writers at PD.com.


Stop making my cry at work.  Srsly.


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Richter

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 01:43:33 pm »
Sorry to hear, and well done.
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Jenne

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 01:47:54 pm »
I know that had to be hard to write, it was hard to read.  Brava.

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 02:15:24 pm »
Very well done, badge.
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Cramulus

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2010, 02:18:42 pm »
great writing, badger. And I'm real sorry that it's nonfiction.

:hugs:

Doktor Skinsaw

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2010, 03:14:49 pm »
That was really beautiful and moving.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2010, 03:22:25 pm »
 :sad:
"Man, there's nothin' to do in this stupid town rope swing's busted, stinking cops always kicking me out of the park manager of the 7-11 always says "get off my curb you good for nothing" all the girls already know I'm a bad kisser so they don't come anywhere near me I don't know how many times I've been to TGIF a kid can eat an onion bloom only so many times bowling's boring, the skating rink's been taken over by 12 year olds there ain't no good movies out, blockbuster never has any good games in I don't want to play Bombad Racing, I mean what the heck is that? I'm sick of all my records and every time I walk into a record store, I forget what I want to get and their ain't nothing on TV, not a stupid thing! There ain't nothing to do 'cept take naps and wait patiently for death!"
- Brak

Adios

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2010, 03:24:30 pm »
You made me cry. This is how my mother died with her hand in mine.

Jasper

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2010, 03:30:44 pm »
I keep trying to think of the right words to respond to this with, but I don't have them.  It made me sad, but it was not 'sad' in the usual maudlin sense.  More a feeling of quiet complexity and...  I don't know.  The feeling you get when life is cruel and you're trying to deal with it gracefully.  The way life makes me feel at times like these, I can't get myself to cry and yet no other emotion would be appropriate.   So I just work through the hurt in my quiet way.  That's how this struck me.

BADGE OF HONOR

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2010, 05:37:10 pm »
Thanks.  It's taken me almost four years to get to the point where I could tell the whole story.
The Jerk On Bike rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homonculus squatting on the floor muttering "masticate masticate masticate".

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2010, 06:28:38 pm »
Thanks.  It's taken me almost four years to get to the point where I could tell the whole story.

I admire your courage.

Juana Go?

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Re: And then...nothing.
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 08:50:17 pm »
That last line got me. Wow. :( I'm sorry, Badge.
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