Wednesday, 8 April 2015

(The) Gift of Listening - Hannah's Mother 2 #AtoZchallenge




“Hannah, it’s time,” says Mum on the phone, her voice weak, soft. And a cold chill shrouds my body. I listen as she struggles to take breath, as her body aches with each movement.
The nurses would have offered to make the call, of course, but I know she needed to say the words aloud.
My bags have been packed for days, my husband and kids prepared, my line manager briefed on my need for a sudden departure, when the time came.
“I’ll be with you in half an hour.” I take a breath; I try to stay strong. “I love you.”
I hold the phone to my ear long after she’s hung up; I whisper her words to myself.
It’s too soon; I’m not ready.
Mum has been ready since her diagnosis; pragmatic and placated. She fought, of course, but also made plans in case the battle failed. Finally, it seems, it’s too much, too hard, too tiring.
She tried to tell me about her funeral last week, but I couldn’t listen. I didn’t want to think about it. I should have listened; I should have heard what she was saying. I should have been a better daughter.
The dialling tone buzzes in my ear, and I hang up.

Don't forget to check out the other challengers!

58 comments:

  1. Perfect ending! All my parents are still living and I hope I'm a long way away from that call. I'll feel the same guilt that I could/should have been better and wasn't.

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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    1. I think all kids feel that at some point, Clarabelle.

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  2. I have another lump in my throat! I think everyone feels guilty when a loved one is about to/has passed away, but so long as they know that you love them, that's what matters.

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    1. I agree, Rachel - love is the most important thing.

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  3. What an emotionally-draining post. My mother came back from the bink a few years ago, but we had a week of thinking she wouldn't. The next time I think she'll let go.

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    1. It's a difficult subject to broach, but an important part of life. I wish your mother good health.

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  4. Replies
    1. I shed a tear while writing it - I always know I'm on to a good thing when that happens.

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  5. And now I want to cry. Gosh, who hasn't been here?

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    1. I haven't been there yet, but I've had grandparents who have passed.

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  6. Beautiful. I've read through a few of your other posts, too, and I am loving your theme. I remember you saying you were worried about posting these unedited pieces, but you dont need to worry - they are lovely :)

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    1. Thank you, Liz, that's so nice to hear :-)

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  7. This brings back memories of when my dad died. Very powerful and moving piece.

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  8. Incredibly emotional. Well done.

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  9. Wow so incredible. Pulls on the heart strings, sad and poignant Annalisa. Great job.

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  10. Great piece, we get such an idea of Mum's character without really meeting her. Very emotional.

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  11. I refused to listen to my dad. I used to feel guilty for it, but when I think on it as a parent, I would understand why my kids would tell me to hush, so I'm sure he understands.

    Very realistic! You're so good at putting life under a microscope.

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth! It's not a conversation I've had to have... I hope it doesn't happen for a very long time.

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  12. That is so sad. I wouldn't want to listen to funeral arrangements either.

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    1. It's a difficult thing to talk about, definitely, Alex.

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  13. Hi Annalisa - well done ... my mother didn't call me - I was called and just made it .. but thankfully we'd had those years to chat not really about personal things ... but I had asked about where and what for her funeral etc ... that made it considerably easier. I think she would be happy ... it's desperate though at any time ... just having some time is good - cheers Hilary

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    1. Probably discussing it at an earlier stage is better, for everyone concerned. Being there is the important thing.

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  14. oh my - you just hit the combo of sadness and guilt. Been there, done that. Perfect vignette. These are getting better and better

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    1. Thank you so much, Joanne. I regard that as high praise after being so impressed with your collection :-)

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  15. That is so moving. I can empathise.

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  16. I know about that call. Thanks for writing about it.

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    1. I'm glad I seem to have got it right for a lot of people.

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  17. Very emotional. It's nice to have time. Harder when there's no prior notice.

    Untethered Realms / MPax

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    1. Yes, I think Hannah in the story is lucky.

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  18. Emotional story. This past Christmas, I was wondering if I'd get a call like that, but my grandma got better and she's still going strong.

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    1. I hope your grandmother remains in good health, Patricia.

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  19. Agreeing with Joanne. These just get better and better :-)
    Anne
    http://www.authorsupport.net

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  20. Dang.

    I had the funeral talk with my folks not to long ago, cuz my mom's dad died. But like Hannah I worry if I've retained it.

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    1. There are a lot of emotions involved - it must be very hard.

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  21. Ohhhh...this is so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Your A-Z short pieces are quite lovely, even though this one is quite sad :)
    Brandy from Brandy's Bustlings

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    1. I really struggle with happy topics - there's so much more to say about sad things!

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  23. Short but touching. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Hi Annalisa,

    Thoughtful and compelling with the tug at the heart. A telephone's line like a lifeline...

    Thank you, my kind friend.

    Gary

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  25. Wow! That one punched me right in the gut. I need to call my Mom tomorrow morning and say hi.

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    1. I hope that gut-punching is a good thing, in this context :-)

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  26. That was heartrending. So much emotion captured here.

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  27. No one ever wants to talk about funeral arrangements because that's so final. Good post that tugs at your heart.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. No, it's a very difficult conversation, and probably more so with a parent. Thanks for visiting.

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  28. So much emotion in such a short piece.

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    1. It's a very emotive subject. Thank you!

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Please comment - I love a good chat!