Goodnight my child, were the last words you uttered to me.
You don’t remember me but you remember my face. You’ve been through a lot of pain. And I’m looking at you in tears because you forgot your family’s name. That is the hardest. I wonder what went through your mind as it happened. Maybe you asked yourself if you really have a family or not since you can’t remember their names.
I want to hug you and wish I could have known them so that I could keep reminding you of their love.
I wish I could do something to ease the longing you’re feeling. I was paid to look after you, and how I wish I could just sit beside you and hold your hand as you talk about the past you only can remember. But I can’t since it’s not only you who needs me.
While you spoke, I would move about, all the while gazing at you, wishing you could read my eyes as they tell you everything will be alright. I browse your files hoping I can see a part of your tiny memory in a photo to make you smile. When I finally found one, you did. You started joking and your laugh was contagious. My heart melted and suddenly tears fell down my cheeks without me knowing. You held my hand tight.
I could feel in your touch that you were scared to be alone.
I gently pressed your hand to let you know I will always be here for you. And then you looked me in my eyes, wished me good luck in life and you told me you may not be physically here, but your soul will. I was speechless and wanted to shout and cry. You’ve worked all your life so hard, given the best you could to your children. But here you are alone, lonely, longing for family affection.
Then and there, I wished I could be your child somehow, so you would feel so loved knowing a family member is beside you. I kept rubbing your back when you laughed or when you moved since you ached in pain each time you did.
And you would hold my hand and tell me it’s okay, but no it’s not.
At the end of my shift, I tucked you in bed, kissed you goodnight and you held me so tight and gave me a kiss which you never did before. And just before I went home, I went to your room to check on you. I thought you were sleeping but you saw me. “Come here, my child, don’t be shy,” you said. And you held my hand and kissed it. I gave you a hug and said, “Goodnight and have lovely dreams.” And you said, “Goodnight, my child. God is calling me.”
Doris, you gave my job a whole new meaning. And I know it won’t just be you who will bid me goodnight. My heart will get broken over and over again, but I know it will just be temporary because I’d rather have my heart broken than see you in pain every day.
Goodnight Doris, I know you’ll wake up in a place that’s pain free and you’ll remember everything. And I love you too.
Featured Image Credit: TONL