A prayer before dying

As I lay here in what will be my deathbed, the lifeforce swiftly ebbing from my frail and broken body; I reminisce on times gone by.

My eyes heavy as lead, I longer have the energy to open them, I hear voices, voices of familiar people, family members gathered to watch these old bones draw their last breath and be done with the world.

I want to tell them to hush as their chattering is a distraction to the moving pictures that play across my mind, but it takes all my energy to even draw a breath. So instead I draw inwards and watch my life play back in front of me.

There’s me as a little girl, unsure of the world before me. I’m so small beside mama and papa, my little hands smothered in theirs. My mother looks so beautiful, so refined and elegant; and my papa so handsome with the square jaw and broad shoulders of his, not yet weathered by age.

Such a happy memory, I remember it so well, I had my prettiest frock on, a polka-dot pattern, braids in my hair and tied up with a matching ribbon, I was a pretty child for sure. We got ice-cream from the ice-cream shop, I got a double scoop of vanilla and raspberry as it was my birthday; and I remember eating the bottom of the cone to suck the ice-cream through as the sticky red sauce ran down between my fingers.

Next we went to the beach, it was such a treat to get to the beach as we lived quite far away and papa didn’t drive back then. He always said “people aw colour ont get ta ave fancy tings.” I never understood what this meant until later in my life when I understood it all too well. I used to laugh at the way he talked, out of the side of his mouth and all, but mama always chastised me, saying papa was lucky to be alive after falling from height at work.

I was so excited to get into the sand and down to the water, that I tripped and fell over, my double scoop falling from my hand spoiled with all that sand on it now. Ohhh how I wailed and wailed my perfect day ruined now, what was I to do? From somewhere above me, I heard a voice and looked up into a vision of loveliness. A child just like me, holding a double scoop of her own in her hand saying “if ya wanna, ya can share mine?”

She was my bestest friend that whole day. Anna was her name as I remember, we had so much fun together. I remember looking up at momma, big grin of delight upon my face, wanting to see her so happy for me and my new friend. But although I was too young to fully understand why, she had a bittersweet look on her face, her eyes tinged with sadness. It was only much later that I found out the reason why……

***Stay tuned for further instalments. ***

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