I read recipes as you lay dying. I rubbed your feet knowing it would be the last gesture of comfort I would give and maybe the first time I ever touched you. You let me. I think you could hear me. I know I felt your pain, your shame, your reluctance to leave. I said goodbye so quietly when I left you. He sat on the couch just feet away. I felt shy and so inadequate to a task I never understood. My mind was filled with urgent, sweeter tasks of nursing babies, feeding toddlers, the righteous tasks of my separate life. The visits I made into yours were brief. Rushing in to drop a meal, have a chat that never broke the surface. My burden of inadequacy, of insecurity, of grief, ignorance, and even unwillingness, to interrupt my life to step into yours, became your burden. I wanted you to see me but you saw right through me and I wasn't enough and I knew that too. So I threw one who could be enough into your path. Whose arms could carry what you needed to give away My only redemption was this. I am sorry. I am ashamed. I know better now. Easy for me to say now of course, I got out without a scrape. You bleed out screaming silently so we wouldn't have to hear.
I have never written anything before. But I have things to say and I'm ready to try.