Alone In A Room
She lies in silent aloneness;
no one really knows if she’s aware
of those who wander in and out
to check her blood pressure and other vital signs.
Outside the holiday season blares
with its gaudy vibrancy and rampant consumerism,
but no one really believes she knows
that it’s Christmas,
even though her daughter brought a tree
decorated with red bows to keep on her nightstand.
On Christmas eve her family comes with gifts.
Her eyes, for once, are open and aware.
“Oh my,” she whispers, “but I didn’t get you anything!”
Her daughter’s eyes are moist with joy–
“It’s all right, Mama. Daddy took care of that.”
Softly, her husband and daughter sing her favorite carol;
her lips are moving, but they cannot hear the faint words.
They aren’t sure if she’s singing along or
admonishing her husband to stop his off-key singing
as she has done for half a century.
When they leave, it is the first time in weeks
they have felt she was truly with them,
that they weren’t alone,
and they are happy with this rare gift
from the woman they both love so dearly.
–Elise Skidmore ©2017
As with my mother when she was in the hospital on Christmas, it was so hard to leave her there. She was always so giving. She was the the spirit of Christmas. Everyone was welcome. Now that she is gone, there is no holiday without her.
It’s hard to be without those we love at Christmas, especially our parents who gave us us the meaning of Christmas to begin with. I think those who have left us would be happy seeing us continue the traditions with love and joy. It’s their legacy, after all, but it is very hard.