By Dr Debra Bartholomew
I just went to check on him….
I felt his brow, I touched his cheek,
I listened to his breath….
I felt my chest heave under a wave of overwhelming sadness….
Just shy of a week ago, our world almost imploded…
As you lay in bed, locked away from us….
Your body, even your words paralysed in tonic state.
Fear became a stalker then
He met me in the dark alley of night
And he followed me, into my dreams when I finally found rest
And into my reality, into daytime, when your eyes became blank again.
I stare at you now….you both….
My chest heaves under overwhelming sadness
You are both my world, my heart, my joy….
Oh, what cruelty a mother endures when her child is very ill.
I lean over….I touch your cheeks, your brows….
I watch you sleep
I tuck you in…..and it is too much to bear
I climb in and lay next to you and hold you both so tight.
My chest heaves….and the numbness which held my hand and my heart less than a week ago finally gives way
The tears fall….nature’s renewing waterfall….they cascade down my face
No woman, no doctor, no hero, not even friend
Mommy only….here and now….I am only Mommy
I clutch my offspring….my world, my heart, my joy….
I am the stalker now….
But……I am not fear.
I am protector, comforter, shield….
I am hugs, undying love, and heart
I am Mommy.
My chest heaves….under a wave of overwhelming relief, overwhelming love
“Mommy! I’m fine! Why are you crying?”….
I had come to check on you….
Instead….you checked on me.