I joined the Indie Ink writing challenge for this week. My thought being, I’m going to do more fiction for now. My challenge was given by Wide Lawns where I’m supposed to introduce someone I know, to you, through dialogue.
Warning: I suck at dialogue, especially if my entire piece is supposed to be written in it. AND, I’m having the hardest time concentrating because of some stuff going on. But…UGH. So, here goes nada…
“I’m so sorry.” Pity oozing from eyes and voice.
I try to smile because words might come out too choked.
“It’s so hard. Watching someone you love wilt and fade.” Hand reaching for my shoulder but I politely dodge it. Comfort isn’t something I’m accepting right now. I’m too busy wallowing in denial.
“She’s always been so inspiring, your mom. Her antique business, so successful. I mean, who can brag that people like Goldie Hawn, Barbara Streisand and Whoopie Goldberg are proud owners of part of your moms bakelite collection? Seriously, how awesome is that?!”
“Yeah, it’s super cool. I’ve always kind of idolized my mom, always wanted to be like her.”
“She’s always been one of the cooler moms. The way she dressed and the way your parents always were doing interesting things. Did you seek out relationships that were similar to your parents?”
“No, I don’t think so. I was in too close to their marriage. So, where most saw good, I also saw the bad. I think I steered clear of all that. But, the good was good. Best friends. In this day and age, where cheating and divorce are so mainstream, the good part of their marriage is an anomaly. It’s rare.”
I swallow, forcing back the lump forming. I will myself to keep dry eyes. I will not stop being strong. I will not stop believing in the possibility that miracles exist.
“Your mom, always so vibrant. So entertaining and so curious. I remember when you’d go out on dates. She’d take over the couch, forcing your date to sit in “the hot seat” and she’d give him the third degree.” she laughs at the memory. So do I.
“Ah yes, the hot seat. That salmon colored swivel chair with the track lighting directed at it. It was, TRULY, a hot seat. My mom loved that, she loved seeing our dates sweat it out with the light blazing down on them. Many sat in that seat, not many more than once.”
“She’s a fighter, your mom. I mean, after she had her first heart attack when you were a teenager, she outlived her prognosis. What did the doctors say? Five to seven years? She showed them, didn’t she. A medical miracle, 22 years later. Really, how’s she doing? How are her spirits?” The pity is back.
I sigh deeply, not sure I can say these words out loud. They hurt too badly and the pain is almost unbearable.
“Not too good.” I whisper. “No pain but not feeling well. It’s different from all the other times.” I don’t make eye contact because I can’t accept the truth mirrored in someone else’s eyes.
“Is she still being her funny self, at least?”
“She isn’t herself. Not at all. She hasn’t been herself in over a year.” Oh please, I can’t keep talking about this. I can’t. All I want to do is pretend and avoid. Because I’m good at it. Because, it makes this whole process less painful.
“I’m so sorry. If there is anything I can do, call me. ANYTHING. OK?” she means well, my friend. “Stay strong. For your mom. Be brave.”
I force another smile.
I can’t. So don’t ask me to.
This is my mommy and I’m feeling like that little girl I used to be where I still need her here. I have to come to the realization that there is a very distinct possibility that she isn’t going to be here much longer. Plans put on hold, mind not able to focus on anything other my mom.
“Thank you, I’ll keep you posted.” Is all I can muster without having a complete breakdown in the middle of the grocery store.
We hug and air kiss.
She pushes her cart toward the fruit aisle while I wander aimlessly unseeing, not finding anything I want.