Write a paragraph to a page with this as the first sentence:
“My Mother broke every dish in the house.“
My Mother broke every dish in the house. There was no discernment of linoleum underneath the shattered glass and porcelain. As I stepped carefully into the kitchen, the shock washed through my core. Had I not known of the problem, I would have believed a tornado blew through the room. But the roof was intact...the episode was contained. My Father sat in the doorway to the dining room, desperately trying to sweep the pieces into the dustpan...to hide the pain. He had not yet seen me enter the room.
“Dad, I'll get that...” I tried to distract him, to ease his pain. With no acknowledgement, I repeated, “DAD, let me...” His pained expression told me what he could not.
“I didn't hear you come in,” he said softly. Struggling to stand, the determination of his effort was apparent. I looked around for something to clear a pathway through the chards, something to help me reach him...to comfort him. I grabbed an old mop that was hidden in the corner of the washroom. By the time I returned to push the shattered pieces aside, he had managed to pull himself to his feet. Instinctively I put my arms around his bent shoulders. When had he shrunk so? Why had I not noticed this before?
“Dad, let's go sit down for a bit. This mess will wait.”
Reluctantly, he leaned the broom against the door and walked into the den. Mom sat in her chair, chin against her chest as she slept. Dad watched her as we sat on the sofa. After a long while, he turned to me. “She said she didn't want anybody else's dishes in her house. I'm sorry, I know that your Grandmother's china was in the will for you. Mom really wanted you to have it.”
Dad lowered his head as the sorrow became overwhelming.
Looking painfully into my eyes, Dad added, “I think it's time. I've tried to avoid it, you know. Will you call....that place?” The tears that appeared in his eyes shattered my heart like the chards on the kitchen floor.
“Sure Dad, I'll take care of it. I'll take care of all of it.” I took his hand as we both turned to face Mom, soundly sleeping and unaware.
Unaware that she would never again have an afternoon nap in her recliner.
Never again sleep in the bed she shared with Dad for over sixty years.
Never again to live with the only man she'd ever loved.
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