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J. Allen Wilson

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  The Visit
by J. Allen Wilson
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Not rated by the Author.

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Recent poems by J. Allen Wilson
•  Thank You Baby For Loving Me
•  A Birthday Prayer
•  Get Thee Behind Me Satan
•  The End Of Times
•  Love This Side Of Heaven
           >> View all 1,550




With Easter day being tomorrow, thoughts of resurrection fill my mind. I think back to a day
three years ago when
I made a death bed visit
to see my mom the night they pulled
the plug which sustained her life.
Though this write is
still painful, and the sense of loss
still there, I can somehow look
to tomorrow and see now what
I could not see then,and that is life is eternal,
and there is hope…hope offered through love.


Preface



 During the years of my time,


 I have heard life described in many ways. 


 I have heard the phrase,


“Life is like a play and there is only one performance”,


 and, of course, the ever-popular phrase


 from the movie, Forest Gump,


“Life is like a box of chocolates;


 you never know what you’re going to get”. 


 However, there is one philosophy to which I relate,


 more than I do to any of the others,


and that philosophy and its implications


 can be summarized in one sentence.


  “Life is like a book.” 


 I have come to realize that each day that we live,


 we add a few paragraphs to our life’s story,


and with the culmination of each individual year,


we also conclude, yet, another chapter. 


  If we as a people were to read one


 another’s books, we would discover


that many of the tales that are told, bear striking similarities.                                                                                                                                



The few paragraphs below tell a tale


 to which many people will relate


 in some fashion or form,


while others have yet to see this time arrive. 


  Sadly, most of you will experience chapters


 in your own lives that are similar to these,


and when that page in your book has been turned,


 it is my hope that you will find courage


and strength in the knowledge,


that the events of that day are happenings


 that are common to all of mankind.
 Join me if you will,


and allow me to share a portion


of the book of my life, with you.


The events described herein,


actually happened and were duly noted,


within a few hours,


though it has taken three years


 to take the notes and turn them into


 what you are about to read..


So, come and follow these words if you will.



 



************************************************************************                                                                                                                                                                                      The Visit



The clear, cold morning bore silent witness


 to the beginning of an incredibly painful day.


 I had received a call,


 that my mother was very ill,


and that I should come quickly.


 With disgust at myself,


I thought back to the many phone


 conversations in the past few years


 and how Mom would say,


“ Son, you need to come see your poor old Mom. 


 You know I’m not going to be here forever.” 


 Guilt overwhelmed me;


I was always so busy with work and my own life.


There were hundreds of reasons why I didn’t go,


but ironically, I now saw those same reasons


 as being excuses. 


Nevertheless, it had come to this,


 and this time, no reason,


nor excuse, could prevent me. 


 I woke my wife and told her


of Mom’s condition,


 and that we would have to make a trip


that I had dreaded for about a year now.


 I knew that Mom was not in the best of health,


but I kept lying to myself in thinking


 that everything would be all right.  


 Hurriedly dressing, my wife and I prepared for the visit.


  My tattered emotions ran amuck,


 with lows that resembled the blackest of nights.


The few highs of the past couple of weeks


 were now replaced with bitter anger.


 Lord, oh, Lord, I thought,


how can I deal with this,


let alone survive without an everlasting guilt?
My eyes were now burning from the hot,


salty tears that had formed small pools


 in the corners of my eyes.


They came as if from a never-ending spring,


at times, cascading down my face


 in fierce moving torrents.


I looked helplessly to my wife,


who held out arms of comfort


offering love’s tender embrace.


Without hesitation,


 she, in all of her compassion took me


to her bosom and held me close.


The time had now arrived, and the visit was at hand.
Slowly, and with small deliberate steps,


 we walked to our car


without speaking a single word.


 Life continued as usual around us,


evident in the sounds of children playing


while waiting on their school bus,


also evident in the sight of


the to and fro of traffic carrying their owners


 to different destinations. 


Opening the car door for my wife,


I attempted to give her a smile,


while at the same time


I desperately tried to suppress the urge to scream


 and shake my fist in anger at the sky.


We entered into the stream of traffic blending in with vehicles that carried people that had no


clue to the chapter that was now


being written in my life.  


Its funny I thought, here everyone goes,


each bustling off to his own destination,


I with my problems that were so difficult


 for me to face, but what of theirs?


Are we such strangers in this world?


I quickly shunned that thought


and settled in for the trip.


It was only an hour ride,


but it seemed like an eternity.


 I looked out the side glass in mute silence


and watched the landscape streak by,


dressed in its winter browns.


 Leah, my wife said nothing,


as we made our way,


for she knew what I would be facing


 and was my vanguard.


 Finally, we arrived,


 and I felt our vehicle come to a stop. 


 I listened as the roar of the engine fell silent.


 This jarred me somewhat,


 back into the cold reality of reason.


 In front of us stood a large black sign,


 that bore the words, Visitors Parking,


and underneath it, another sign,


Emergency Room Entrance Only.


Small white arrows pointed out the way.


I stood there overlooking the campus,


silently questioning myself. Can I do this?


Can I fake control?


 Unexpectedly,


thoughts of childhood slammed into


me bringing to the surface of my mind,


 a flood of memories


that had long ago been forgotten. 


  How deceitful memories can be! 


  Those little pleasantries that had,


 at one time, brought comfort,


 now impaled me with grief. 


 What once had been sweet recollections


now ravaged my soul with guilt. 


 I watched a multitude of unsmiling people


 walk slowly past us, carrying miniature plants


 and other gifts to the sick and dying.


It seemed to be a ritual of sorts,


where the strong tried to appease


the gods of infirmity,


thereby releasing their own emotions of guilt.


 Leah tugged gently on my sleeve and asked


 “Are you ready?”



“Yes” I replied


as I put my arm around her to


make our way past the construction


 of a new wing.


Walking down the plywood corridor


 that had been placed for civilian traffic,


I stopped for a moment to observe


our surroundings.


At the base of the new building


stood a large crane that somehow I thought,


 resembled some ancient prehistoric creature


 that was dangling a large steel beam from its mouth.


Below, the sudden Rata-Tat tat


of a jackhammer tore into my silent observations,


bringing me back to my reality.


 My wife motioned that it was time to go.


 Yes, it was time to go, time to move on,


 time to face what I abhorred most in life;


 the absence of it.

 Goodbye

The smooth glass doors made a swooshing sound,


 as we entered the lobby,


which had the appearance of


 a new shopping mall more than that of a hospital.


We walked up to a nearby desk


that had a tacky plastic sign that read,


Patient Information;


Sitting behind the desk was a young man


of perhaps 30 years old,


 wearing a dark blue blazer and a soft smile.


 I half expected him to seat us for dinner.

“How may I help you?” he chirped.


 I told him that we were here to see my mother


 and that I had received a call telling


 me that it was urgent. He nodded,


took all the information that was required,


and then handed the two of us,


small, peel-n-stick labels to put on our clothing. 


 Then, with a more somber look on his face,


 he pointed us in the direction of the elevators.


 We walked nervously past the gift shops


 with their ceramic angels and get well soon balloons,


 to a large fountain that shot plumes


of water toward the ceiling.


I looked at my wife, half hoping


she would tell me that we could forget about doing this,


 if I wanted, and that we could run away


to Kangaroo Island or some other obscure place,


 but she only smiled


and brushed a tear from my cheek.


Entering the elevator,


 I looked around the mall like lobby


and wished that I were some place else.


The doors slid to and I punched third floor ICU.


 The elevator gave a little drop


and then began to climb.


Stopping with a jolt,


the doors hissed and opened.


This time, the mall like atmosphere


 had been replaced with a sterile,


 mind numbing scene.


There were doctors and nurses moving about


 in an almost mechanical manner.


Some were pushing carts


 that contained all sorts of equipment.


It reminded me of a scene from the TV show, ER.


We stepped out of the elevator


and a nurse came to greet us.


 She was middle aged


and wore her hair up in a tight ball


at the back of her head.


She looked tired and worn,


as if she had seen too much of a bad thing,


 yet still, she offered up a smile


and asked if she could assist us.


 I told her that we were here to see my mom


and that we had received a call


saying that it was urgent.


 She asked me my moms name,


 and upon hearing my reply,


 her smile quickly faded


and was replaced with that


“Oh, I’m so sorry look”.


I felt my heart sink as she led


 us down a narrow corridor to a tiny room


 filled with all sorts of equipment,


which sighed, heaved and beeped.


Connected to the end of all this was my mom,


or what resembled my mom.


Her face was as white as her hair.


 I was told that they were going


 to remove all support today. 


I could feel the tension in the air,


 and the anger that came from


 the direction of the other family members.


It was like walking a gauntlet


 as I walked up to mom


 and kissed her softly on her forehead.


I whispered I love you


and told her that I was sorry.


Yes that I was sorry,


 I could have been around her more,


 after all,


 didn’t every time I call her she would say,


“ When are you coming to see your old Mom”?


“You know I won’t be here forever”!


Yes mother, I am so sorry,


I do love you so.


 I am just so busy these days….


Busy these days rang like a dull instrument


 in the back of my mind


 as I watched the pumps and tubes


 sustain her life for yet another hour.


 I turned to my wife with yet more tears in my eyes.


 Where are they all coming from I thought,


I do not think I have ever shed so many.


I looked back once more


and took a mental photograph


of this most gracious lady.


 I observed the soft turn of her nose


and thought of all the tales she would tell.


 I recalled the way she would laugh


when told a humorous joke;


 how she would cry


at silly romantic scenes in the movies.


God, my heart was breaking


and I could do nothing,


I was helpless and I could not save her.


 She was not even awake. 


 I hope to God that she somehow knew I was there.


Later that evening,


Leah told me that she saw Moms feet move


 as I caressed her face.  


 I hope she knew! 


I gazed intently at the softness of her face,


and thought of the times that she


held her face to mine as a child


 to tell me how much she loved me.


 I had said it was a photograph


of that moment that I had taken;


it was more like a roll of photographs,


for I surveyed every inch of her now frail body


 and burned it into my mind.


I knew that this really would be goodbye


 and I wanted it all.


I wanted this to live in me,


even as life ebbed from her.


Yes Mother, this is goodbye,


 but I promise we will meet again.  

The Burial
January 28th 2002


they laid my dear mother to rest.


She was 61 years of age;


 much too young to die, but die she did,


 leaving the living to mourn her passing.


 How does one sum up a chapter such as this? 


 Three years have passed


as I pen in these final words


and I ponder many things


and have come to this conclusion.


Never put yourself ahead of others.


Always make time for those you love,


 and above all…simply LOVE.

Dedicated to my Mother: Maggie Elizabeth Wilson



 



J. Allen Wilson © 3-26-2005


                                      


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
 
 
 




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Reviewed by Tracey L. O' Very (Reader) 3/26/2005
Allen,
A heartwrenching story of your saddest moments.
A beautiful baby and Mom. : )
I hear the sounds, I don't hear the sounds and all emotions thoughts sights, of all you write.
The guilt I know all too well. Yet we must remember that in order for our loved ones to feel and truly be at Peace we must rid ourselves of that self guilt for their eternal happiness. The key word, self.
As you said in the beginning, we all are so similar.
Allen I'm so sorry. I know how your heart pours.
The tears you spoke of where are they coming from, it's almost as if the tears that you cry are really your heart being drained dry.
An excellent story to remind us all getting caught in the traps in life and the importance and gift of LOVE!
Thank you so much.
All my love,
Traceyxooxxo
Reviewed by E T Waldron 3/26/2005
Allen a most heartfelt deeply moving write that must have
taken much out of you to do. It's awful to carry such guilt
but it seems we all do one way or another. Even when we shouldn't
I'm sorry you had to go through it,but i don't think we ever can avoid it even when we want to. I hope this was the cathartic you needed it to put it in perspective and come to terms with it.
Go easy on yourself and let go of it now. thanks for sharing!

Love,
Eileen
Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson 3/26/2005
*sighs*

what a load to carry, felt the greif and pain here
so sorry for your lost and thank you for the message strong with lot
of heart........

sighs
Reviewed by Felix Perry 3/26/2005
I can truly relatet to this having been through it myself. See my short story "Through An OPen Window" and you will know that I have felt the pain you feel.
Felix
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 3/26/2005
poignant read, I am sorry for your loss
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 3/26/2005
A sad time for you, but a happy time too,
You got to see your mom and showed your love,
She knew you were there, your relationship like a glove,
I have one observation though,
Did you notice as a baby you were bald,
And now as an adult you are the same, seems that time has stalled...

A nice one that I read thru twice, Al...more of these you need to write, they are most cleansing for your psyche...Seek Peace, Ed

Books by
J. Allen Wilson



Glimpse OF An Angel

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Whispers Of The Heart

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Before Darkness Falls

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