Bedside Manner

11 Apr
Irises 003

Photo by Debi Smith. May not be used without permission.

I held her bloated, wrinkle-covered hand through the rails of the bed. Her eyes were closed in slumber and her short white hair lay flat against her head.

I stroked the hair she used to color a burnt red until she tired of covering up the white. The mix on her hair while she waited for it to process was sludge-like and I nearly threw up once.  I was glad when she stopped coloring it. The white hair suited her natural beauty.

In her waking moments, her eyes no longer held the sparkle they once did. It felt like the shell of her lay before me instead of the vibrant woman who was my equalizer. She ensured I had a measure of fairness when the world chose to beat me down.

I was in the midst of another beat down.

It wasn’t fair.

But I couldn’t ask her to keep fighting when she had nothing left. It was selfish of me. She waited at death’s door and held onto the last tendrils of life for us.

I knew it was time to say goodbye even if I didn’t want to.

“You don’t need to take care of us anymore, Gram. You did it long enough. It’s time for you to rest.” I choked back the tears. “We’ll be okay. You taught us well.”

I stood and kissed her forehead tenderly knowing it would be the last.

“I love you, Gram.”

©Debi Smith, 2014


Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


Tags: ,

4 responses to “Bedside Manner

  1. gdwest123

    April 11, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Really sad and poignant Debi, I almost cried, well done

    • Debi Smith

      April 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Thank you, Geoffrey! I definitely cried while writing it. 🙂

  2. kennedyryanwrites

    April 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    gorgeous and touching, deb! this was yours personally, i’m sure, but i bet there are so many folks who read and it and remember a scene in their lives very similar. and probably wish they could have put words to the way you have so eloquently here.

    • Debi Smith

      April 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you, Kennedy. 🙂 And yes, all fiction has a kernel of truth to it somewhere.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: