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The doctors had not prepared me for what I would find when I entered my mother is resting room. Her cheeks were sallow and paper thin. I feared that were she to hold her breath; the flesh might tear open like a tissue. I watched her fingers softly twitch as she slept, their pattern mimicking her pulse, faint and slow. When I took her skeletal hand into my own, I choked back tears for fear I'd grab her too tight and cause permanent damage. With my free hand, I gently stroked her silky hair, their strands more sporadic than consistent as they grew from her pockmarked skull. She sniffled and shifted a small amount in her sleep.

I knew then what was coming even if I could not admit it. I was losing her rapidly, and there was nothing I could do about it.



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