Not the End Till it’s Over


hosp sunrise

Everything seemed at an end. Alice watched as the drip flowing into her arm counted the seconds. Little use they were to her. Life was ending ebbing away as the drops flowed. She could count in hours or in days it made little difference.
Her daughter’s worried face appeared around the door, a brave smile in residence. Grasping Alice’s free hand she pulled the chair close to the bed.
“I came as fast as I could mum…” The words tumbled on the air loosing their meaning. Alice smiled keeping her composure till the last.
“I know you did honey…” Her eyes were heavy, so very heavy; she began to drift back to the days when she held her in her arms a tiny pink bundle of new life. Now the hourglass had turned, their roles reversed. Another figure stepped from the shadows. Her smile deepened – John.
“Mum?” the voice anxious.
“I was dreaming of your father …so long ago now… I’m so tired…” Alice felt tears drop on her fingers. There was only Annie left now all the rest were gone and soon she, herself, would be gone too; poor Annie. She was too tired to think about it now. John was calling. How pleasant to just drift away in dreams… she was too tired to fight.


She awoke to the morning sun forming glittering patterns on the bed. Annie was asleep slouched in the chair. She felt light; the heavy drowsy feeling had left her. Maybe the drip had worked after all?
A young doctor entered surprised to see her awake and sitting up. Annie stirred and murmured something. Checking her pulse and breathing the doctor smiled.
“I don’t quite understand it but something amazing has happened.
“You mean I’m gonna make it?”
“Indeed you are!” His eyes glowed in pleasure.
It was not till later she recalled the dream. John talked with her. He wanted her to come now but she had begged for time, enough time to make sure Annie was OK. That time had been given her, she would not waste a second of it.

(This was inspired by a true story. A mother of three young children dying of cancer begged God for another 10 years to raise her kids. The cancer went into remission. Ten years later it returned, her widowed husband told me the story. I understood how he and his teenaged kids had such a peace about her death.)

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