Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Losing Time

I need it.
Will I have enough?

Troubling, tormenting, terrifying thoughts,
miserable me,
thinking as I do.

Fear grabs me and refuses to let go --
haunting me,
scaring me.

I fear having
no more

No impact on humanity.
No clever book written.
No painted picture from my own fingers.
Moving . . . no one.

Will I have enough time?
To move someone, anyone?
So my life is not forgotten.

Writing –
a quiet, possibly futile attempt
to leave something of myself to the world.
It is all I have to offer.

Thoughts in my head
trapped by fear.
Fear that the words won’t match the emotions I feel.
Fear no one will be moved.
No one will care.

It must be done.

If I wait too long,
there will be no

My mother lost her time.
Too sick to do, too sick to plan  
gone – within a month.

All her memories,
all her words –
hidden forever
within her.

Twenty-two years ago
my mother died.

We abandoned her.
Leaving her there
in the hospital
never to wake up.

After surgery,
a blood clot in an artery
began robbing her vital organs of life-giving oxygen.
The doctor said, “I can make her conscious,
so you can say goodbye”.

Would she want us to? Would I want that if it were me?
“No”, we said.

I regret leaving her
in her artificial slumber –
in a quiet, cold room
to die

My grieving father
wanting to go home to be near his alcohol and cigarettes
needed me
I thought.

My mother --
no longer throwing back her head laughing,
no longer providing comfort when I needed it
lie dying.

I did not want that to be my last memory of her.
Keeping instead the one I had of her smiling at me
in the hall
by the elevator.

My father, sisters and I
-- without his wife, without our mom --
went home.

Rain pouring from an unforgiving sky
reflecting our emotions
making travel slow.

Few words passed between us
as we made our way to a house
soon filled with sorrow.

Four-thirty in the morning,
the hospital called.
Her body finally breathed no more.

Heavy rain on any given day
refreshes that memory.

Taking me back
to that day so long ago
but somehow not.

I saw her last,
in the hall
on a gurney
before disappearing behind the elevator doors.

She smiled at me and said, “Ah hun”.
“I love you. This will make you feel better”,
was all I could say.

Then away from me,
she was taken away from me

My life was never the same.
With all the happiness I had experienced so far in life,
Never had I experienced until that day,
life’s most painful and permanent part.
There is an end.

Tears flowing less often,
pain still persisting,
longing still lingering.
Never had I lost someone I so deeply loved.

Too quickly her time

Time is my worry now.
Will I have enough?



  1. I fear the same as you. My mother was taken from me when I was 3. She had cancer but back then there was nothing they could do to buy her any time. I often wonder what my life would have been like with a mother that loved me.

    Your poem hit home with me as I'm sure you knew it would. It's sad but we have to believe that there will be time for us, time to make a difference, time to see our grandchildren. We have to hold onto that thought. Take care and please keep in touch.

  2. I am so sorry cancer robbed you of your mother and robbed your mother of you. Age 3 is far too young to lose such an important person.
    "Hope" is a powerful word in these trying times. I will continue to hope that we remain well enough to complete our personal goals before cancer robs us of that ability.
    When I think of snow, I think of you. My winters here on the coast of NC are nothing compared to your Canadian winters. Stay warm.
    Thanks for commenting on my poem.