Thursday, February 2, 2012

Writing Challenge - The Stroke

It has been difficult for months now, ever since my mom had had the stroke. It had been the 2nd one she had suffered from in the last few years. With my dad gone after dying in the Vietnam War when I was just a baby, it was up to me to care for her.

With this latest stroke, my mom seemed to lose the will to live. But I wasn't ready to let her go yet, so I dragged her dutifully to all her appointments as I tried to get her to rehabilitate like she did before. Instead of improving, I had to watch her slip away from me.

I prayed like I hadn't done since I was an innocent child, for guidance on what I should do for my mother. That night I had the most vivid dream of my life.

Dressed in a white sundress, my bare feet glided along the kitchen from the house we lived in when I was a child. My mother, who looked like she did before she got sick, was sitting at the kitchen table. She looked up from the book she had been reading and gave me a brilliant smile.

"I've been waiting for you, sweetheart," she said, her voice filled with warmth and life, "I know things have been difficult for you, and I'm sorry for that."

I sat down next to her and she took my hand in hers. "I'm not ready to lose you, mom," I said, the tears filling my eyes.

"You lost me a while ago," she said, her free hand brushing my tears away and trailing down my cheek. "I'm ready to move on, to be with your father again. You have your life ahead of you but mine is done."

We sat there in silence for a long moment as her words washed over me. She gently caressed my hair as she did when I was very small. "I love you, Michelle," she said, "Always know that I love you."

I nodded, my vision getting hazy because of the flood of tears. "I'll always love you," I managed to say, "But if it's your time, I won't stand in the way anymore."

It was at that point that I woke up. I sat up in my bed, feeling wide awake. I dashed from my room to my mother's room. She was laying in her bed, still as the grave, having passed away in her sleep. I cried my tears over her, but I felt at peace at last. She had moved on and now I had my life to live.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Caroline Gerardo challenged me with "Tell me about caring for your Mother who had a stroke." and I challenged seeking Elevation with "The Creepy Toy"


  1. Going home in the dream to the kitchen of your childhood, were all family revolves and resolves to grow, nurture, and be living on. You made me cry and smile in the kitchen of my childhood with the avocado green toaster. love it!

  2. Yes, the symbolism here is so strong. I really enjoyed that connection in the moment of death. Mom is already gone, but she's giving her daughter one last chance to come to terms with it.