Friday, June 16, 2017

In memory of her

Philipp Salzgeber, CC
She was a kid.

She was dying.
Everyone knew, and yet no one would say it.

Her mother ask that no one tell her child what was going on.
I saw her after her surgery, her head wrapped like a genie, sitting on her bed.

Her mother wanted me to promise I would not tell her.
I told the mother I would not lie if asked.

The comet hung in the sky like a jewel that summer 20 years ago.

It was evening.
I was tired.
The mother was tired
The child was dying.

I asked the other if I could take her child to a room where the comet was visible.
The mother said OK.
She did not come along.

I knew what I would say if the child asked.
The mother knew as well.

And the child never asked.

But she saw the comet.
The last one she saw.
Not the last one I saw.

And Hale-Bopp makes me sad every time I see a photo.

She never asked so she could protect the adults around her.

1 comment:

Mary Ann Reilly said...

Throughout Rob's 100 days in hospitals, I wondered often about the toll all of it must take on his doctors--especially the oncologist who was so involved and our family doctor who is a good friend. My husband taught all three of his children. He remains involved with Devon and me.

Now I have some insight. Each loss must cause an ache, a mark.

I know David, the oncologist, couldn't counter Rob one afternoon when my husband forgot he was dying. I wasn't there and when Rob said to me that we were to set up an appointment to see David the next week for treatment I was confused. Rob was coming home to die. The cancer had progressed to organs. When I called David--who was just a few years younger than Rob, he broke down and told me just couldn't tell him he was dying--not again.

Once home, Rob seemed to have forgotten the conversation as he forgot so many things like names and places and the like. I appreciated that difficulty for David. It told me so much.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like when it is a child.