One Last Goodbye

March 5th started the same as any other,
I was 13, half a decade ahead of my little brother.
The morning was bright; a beautiful day forming in sight -
Sun reflects off the snow; a mirror of white,
When the phone rang and brought our fears to life..

Grandma answered the call, we paused, our hearts synced,
I'll never forget the look in her eyes as we saw her heart sink.
We knew this day would come, we just never imagined it,
And now that it was here, there was no way we could fathom it.

She pulled me aside, alone, said, "He's too young to understand,"
"Show him that you're strong, be a brother and a man."
Forcing a smile, I nodded acknowledgement,
Motioned for his hand and instantly he followed it.

The walk to the car; souls just drifting away,
Shadows exist in the way the light lifts from the day,
To resist is insane - like a garden without water,
The definition of horror; when a mother buries her daughter.

There's a silence so foreign it disrupts the air,
Not a thought or a prayer - just erupts with despair.
We bypass the same places; common occurrences,
If there's such beauty in life, I question what the purpose is.

We reach a bare lot, the sign states "Long Term Parking",
The irony is as evident as the clouds that have darkened.

Doors open, an aura ushering us inside,
They call this a place of healing,
I call it suffering in disguise.

A young nurse escorts us down a dimly lit hallway,
How could she come here every day,
With death in the air always.

I'm the first in the room, doing my best not to cry,
Her skin is as pale as the moonlit sky,
A hollow figure; not a single resemblance present,
To a woman who shone brightly,
Reduced to trembling embers.

Sitting on the bed; flashes of surprise
Reminiscing of how time has passed us by,
I kiss your cheek as tears entrap my eyes,
Will never be the same, a future fractured, why?
Your eyelids flutter; gentle butterflies,
As I hold you tight and whisper last goodbyes.

"I love you, Mom."