She kneels at his bedside table. Head bent low and hands clasped. Silence kneels beside her, in constant vigil. The unknowing beckons and calls. The dark, ghost like fingers of doubt extend to her, calling her, drawing out her name in the dead of night.
He lays motionless. His chest barely moving as he takes the shallow breathes of life. Even in the shadows of moonlight his skin casts grey and sullen against the crisp white sheets. The contrast adds to the bleak numb air hanging thin in the room.
Her mind is heavy. The weight of a lifetime of thoughts sinking her deeper onto the cold tiled floor in submission. She is being drawn weaker with each repetitive cycle. Will he live to morning? Does he know I am here? Is this enough?
She unclasps her hands and reaches to hold his. His frail, thin fingers cut through her soul. She remembers the fingers of a time when they were strong, healthy and vibrant. The same fingers that clasped the tiny hand of her daughter all those years ago. The same fingers that clasped her hand a little tighter as they walked down that long church aisle together.
These are her nights. Her days merely a blur. The fear, the unknowing, the anticipation. The nights that one day, she will never forget.
His breath catches and in the silence there is a pause. The stillness in the air hangs heavy. Her eyes widen, the sweat from her hands causes his fingers to slip from hers. “Pa?” She calls into the night.
Just as abruptly there is a quickening of his breath. She exhales in relief and drops from her knees onto the ground. Here she sits. The cold from the floor rising up through her body, extinguishing the warmth, the light.
In her vulnerability and fear she cries. Cries for the days that will only exist as memories. Cries for the words unspoken. Cries for the unmasked reality of her life. She cries for death.
In her moment of complete abandon she clings to hope in the only way she knows. The only way that breathes gently on the embers of her soul, bringing back life. She prays.
She casts away inhibition and doubt and succumbs to the external and bare honesty of the words, whispered in repetition, in doctrine, in tradition.
She lifts herself from the floor and climbs onto the bed with her father. Cradling his frail body in her arms, tears staining her face and falling in vigil onto the crisp white sheets. Holding onto him she prays.
The next Conversations over Coffee link will open on
Thursday June 26, 2014
Hope you are inspired by next month’s theme ~
Conversations with Strangers ~ everyone is welcome x