Saturday, February 21, 2009

This was it.
Part Two.

"I wrote the room number down. It should be somewhere in my bag," Deborah said as she reached to the back seat to feel around for her purse. Her fingers gently brushed the leather straps as her other hand expertly maneuvered the steering wheel. "Mark will you be a dear and look for a yellow Post-It. It should be in the front pocket." She handed her brown leather satchel to her husband in the front seat.
"Honey, I don't see anything. It's just a bunch of receipts, Safeway, Chinese take-out, drugstore, Nordstrom, no Post-It," Mark frowned, while flipping through a handful of paper.
"Shoot. Well I guess we'll just ask the front desk when we get there."

This was it. Deborah had been dreading this day, it seemed like since she was a little girl. The thought of death, especially of a parents dying, was almost too much for her to bear. Such incredible loss was incomprehensible to Deborah. She had prepared herself throughout the years, but this was really it and Deborah didn't know if she could face it. She had to keep herself under control. She didn't want to lose it in front of him.

While riding the elevator to the third floor, Deborah squeezed Mark's hand so tight she could see his thumb turning bright red, the red made her think of roses which made her happy so she squeezed harder and harder until the roses turned to blood oozing out of his thumb. The sight of blood was making her faint. She let go and stumbled to the corner of the elevator.

"Honey. Are you okay," Mark asked shaking his hand out and looking at his wife with concern.
"Yeah, I'm fine, " Deborah said shortly. " No, I'm nervous."

Deborah was about to see her father for the last time. She knew that this was her only chance to tell him how she felt and if she lost her nerves, then she would never have an opportunity again. After years of feeling inadequate and trying to validate herself she realized it was all for nothing and it was time that he knew what he did to her. Deborah took a deep breath and walked into the room.

On the bed lay a limp and frail body with tubes connected to various parts. Deborah barely noticed her siblings in the room, but she did notice her father. It was time to say goodbye. She pulled a chair towards the side of the bed and put the aging hand in hers. It was soft and wrinkled. Deborah traced the protruding, bluish veins all the way to the knuckles. She brought her face down to the hand and gently placed her lips on it. It had a strong smell of rubbing alcohol and something funky that Deborah couldn't quite place. The limp body was struggling to take breaths of air, but the intermittent sounds were calming in a way. Deborah sighed and oddly didn't feel as emotional as she thought she would. Death wasn't so bad after all. It meant the end of a chapter and the beginning of a peace without sick or pain or death. A sly smile crossed Deborah's face as she looked up at her father standing across the room. He was losing his wife, the woman he had shared his life with. It wasn't the love of his life and it wasn't the life he wanted, but the life he settled for and now she was dying. Deborah smiled at her father knowing that he had not one ounce of sadness for this limp, frail woman lying in the bed with tubes connected to her arms and nose but this time it didn't bother her. That was it, she was letting go. Did she have to unload the rage that she had built up for the past 42 years? Did she have to cause a scene? Sitting at the edge of the bed, holding her mother's hand, Deborah no longer felt vindictive. It was enough knowing that today her father would lose a wife and a daughter forever. Deborah was finally ending a chapter and wanted to start the next with peace, without anger or hate or pain.

* * * * * *

Deborah held the phone in her hand and stared out the window. Her father was dying and that was it.


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