A candle flickers


Sunday June 28 – 10 pm

A candle is flickering in the dark.  It burns too quickly.  It burns too slowly.  The candle has shone brightly for generations and soon the supply of life will be exhausted.  And all I can do is wait and watch.

My mother is dying.  In pain that I can only imagine.   She can no longer tell me how she feels but I can hear the agony in every tortured breath.  She squeezes my hand with an iron grip that once – only months ago – wielded a tennis racquet with power and grace.

Tonight I went outside the hospital.  The sun was setting, lighting the clouds with a golden, fiery glow.  I cried.  Not the first time in the last few days and surely not the last in the next few hours and days.  I cried for the beauty of nature that can be seen in the sunset and I cried for the cruelty of nature that takes a life with such ferocity.

The candle dims, then brightens and then dims once again.  Each time the darkness creeps a little closer.


Monday June 29 – 1:13 pm

My mother passes quietly.  The rattling congested breathing silences and within two minutes she is gone.  With her sisters on each side holding her hands in love and with friends and other family close by, she stops fighting and lets the darkness wash away her pain.

The flame is gone.  The warmth will last forever.