A Vignette I wrote during a summer workshop with my local affiliate of the National Writing Project:
She didn’t hear the door open. There was no sound. Only the quiet, rhythmic, synchronized breathing of the two who were once one. Truthfully, she didn’t want to hear the door, or disturb the silence, or have this moment end. As long as she stayed in this moment, as long as they were wrapped in the silent cocoon, she could forget – forget that it was time.
Her presence signaled that it was time. Her support, her anchor, Marlene. An expert in her chosen craft, she knew to keep her distance, knew that these last few moments were precious. And although it was time, she could spare them a few more memories.
There were no seconds, minutes, hours. There was only now and, soon, beyond. She chose to enjoy the now a bit longer. She had no idea how long they’d laid that way. She in the hospital bed, her head raised slightly. Snuggled against her lay her daughter; belly to belly, in an almost fetal position. She could feel every movement between them: her breathing, her tiny body moving ever so slightly up and down; the quick palpitations of her heart; the occasional twitch disturbing an otherwise motionless sleep. It was as if she were still in her womb relying on her body for her very survival. Not anymore. Not ever again. After the now her daughter would rely on others to sustain her life, the couple she had chosen herself for the adoption.
As if on command, her head turned. A single tear rolled down her cheek – she knew it was time. The perfect bubble ended, soon to be replaced with an almost unbearable pain. Pain, yes, but never regret. She had given her daughter the only gift she was capable of giving – life. And now she would give that gift to two who could not give it to themselves.
It was time. Time to say good-by. Time to weep. Time to feel the hurt. Time to let go of the now and begin beyond.