The Cloth

Time was not on her side…Time was not on my side.

Time had not been kind to her body, nor her mind, and time had not been kind to our relationship at times, and now it was time… Time to say goodbye.

Time to close this chapter in a way that would close all the chapters before. The time had come for my mom to say goodbye to this world… to us… to me…

but I wanted more time.

The drive from my small hometown to my moms was short, too short for all my heart wanted to say to my mom. Where do I start… where do I end?

A short prayer of “Show me how to wrap everything that has hurt and everything that was good in this short time that was left.”

I buzzed into the building as I had done many times over the years, knowing it could be the last time.

The ride to the second floor seemed far too quick. The familiar hallways didn’t make things easier for my heart as I slowed my steps to perhaps make time stand still, if even just for a moment.

Mom’s homemade, colourful bauble Christmas wreath still adorned the front door as my mom had been too tired to take it down as time was stealing away her strength.

It was now the month of April and the chorus of tiny birds living in trees just outside the building had sung me in again like they did most days.

But my heart was not joining in their happy chorus. I wanted time… more time I didn’t feel I had. There was so much to say… or was there?

I made my way down the familiar short hallway to her bedroom. The door was open. She never liked to be alone. Her small curled up being was covered with a soft cozy blanket taking up such a small space in the large queen size bed. It was a picture I had seen many times before, coming for lunch during these past few years.

But today was different. Lunch was not on either of our minds.

I slowly crouched beside her side of the bed, leaving us face to face with each other.

“Hi Mom,” I quietly whispered, “it’s Arlene,” as I placed my hand on her warm forehead. “Would you like a cold cloth?” I gently asked.

A slow familiar smile crossed her face as she replied, “That would be nice.”

I quickly made my way to the bathroom sink and gently took a pale green cloth from my mom’s freshly washed stack of wash cloths and proceeded to wring it under a slow stream of cool water.

My heart was all of a sudden completely wrapped up in this small, but somehow very meaningful process in the moment.

Making my way back to the small form in the large bed, I gently… oh so gently, place the cool, pale green cloth on her warm forehead.

My mom closed her heavy eyes gently as a familiar slight smile formed on her lips, “Thank you.” She whispered quietly in her weak but familiar voice.

And there it was.

The answer to my prayer.

All that needed to be said and done was wrapped up in just one cool, pale green cloth…

It was done in one moment.

Three days later my mom peacefully entered Heaven’s Glory. We both experienced a peace. The healing journey would continue through the next few years, but the close to that chapter… an answer to my prayer, would be a beginning.

Heaven for my mom and a Heaven-sent answer to a prayer for me…. A beginning and an end….

With…

the cloth.