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The Arms of a Mother

Story ID:4118
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Charlotte NC USA
Year:2008
Person:My Stepson Brandon
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The Arms of a Mother


I sat in the room and listened to the machines that kept my first wife Georgia
alive. The slow, continuous beeping of the heart monitor and the hiss of the ventilator
were the only sounds in that dismal room in intensive care. I watched Georgia's chest rise
each time the ventilator hissed and waited for the doctor.

Earlier, the nurse told me, "Mr. Smith, there is a decision to make. Your wife had
a bad day today. The doctor will be here soon. He needs to talk to you."

She left the room. The machine hissed, Georgia's chest rose and fell. I stood and
paced the room. I knew what was coming. Tears trickled down my cheeks. "Georgia?" I
looked at my comatose wife. "Hun, we promised each other." I paused. My words choked
in my throat. I regained my composure, and continued. "Georgia, we promised each
other, we wouldn't let the other live on a machine. I never thought it would come so soon.

"Honey, the doctor is coming. I know what he is going to tell me. It is time to let
you go. I don't want to." I cried harder. "Georgia, I know it's the right thing, but it hurts
so bad." I sat down, covered my face in my hands and wept. "I don't want to let you go. I
know it is the right decision and know you would agree. Georgia, I'm going to miss you."

I sat in that room and waited for the doctor to give me the news. All I wanted was
for my mom to be there and hold me. I wanted my mommy. I was alone in New Jersey. I
had no family. I had no one to comfort me. My family lived back in Canada. They
couldn't be there for me. My 16-year-old son was there, but I needed to be strong for him.
I needed my mother's arms around me. I wanted her hugs.

After Georgia's death, I rebounded and found a new love. Instantly, I became a
granddad. My new wife Ginny has four grandchildren by her daughter Heather and one
by her son Brandon. I love Heather and Brandon as much as I do my own son and
daughter, Vanessa and Justin. Heather and Brandon work hard and take great care of
their children.

Brandon, who worked as a landscaper,
ruptured a disk lifting rocks. They
operated and removed it. A second disk slipped. He still had continuous pain. The
doctors decided the only solution was to fuse his spine. At the age of twenty-nine, his
career as a landscaper is over.

Ginny stood by his bed. She'd travelled from New Jersey to North Carolina to
be there for him. The operation was a success, but the Brandon was in incredible pain.
Ginny watched him shake and sweat as muscle spasms ripped through his back. The pain
killers did little to ease his discomfort. His fiancé, Kelly, held his hand. They cried
together.

Later that night, when it was time for Ginny to leave, she reached down and
hugged her son. Through his pain and drugged induced state, he hugged her back and
whispered into her ear, "Mom, I'm so glad you are here."

I knew what he meant – the arms of a mother.


Michael T. Smith