Learning To Love You More




Assignment #31
Spend time with a dying person.

Kate Mott
Richmond, Virginia USA



Hi, I'm Kate Mott, and I'm at the home of Ingles; it's my second home, where I practically grew up. Today is the 21st of October, it is 6:30 pm. We are playing cards, because that is what Mrs. Ingle likes to do. Harry Potter Uno, which to be honest, I'm not crazy about it, but I like to visit the Ingles and so I'm here playing Uno anyway.
It's already getting dark outside and it's smoky in here. We are sitting at a breakfast table, discussing Halloween, and Christmas, and various other things. It's warm in here, but not an uncomfortable. The air smells of wood smoke, and cigarettes. My mother is sitting across from me laughing, and drinking red wine. Mrs. Ingle looks tired and she has taken her wig off because it is itching her head.
She is such a strong person, and it's difficult to see her move so slowly. Her face is pretty, and it is smiling now. Her eyes are sharp, even though she is clearly exhausted.
Behind Mrs. Ingle's head are shelves with pictures of her daughter Sarah, rocks, sticks, miniatures of Don Quixote and a picture of a pressed flower. One of my mom's wall hangings, a witch on her broomstick flying over the moon, is directly behind my head on the wall. Mrs. Ingle loves Halloween. It's obvious, as there are decorations everywhere: big furry fake spiders, witches, pumpkins and lights. She even puts out Candy Corn.
We are taking a short break from cards, so I am going to get a glass of water. (They use bottled water as she is so vulnerable to germs) I choose a yellow glass. I pass by the candy corn and grab a small hand full. I don't like the candy corn with brown, only the yellow, orange and white type. We sit back down and continue to play. Sarah is at my right. We have been friends since the age of 4. Watching her mother die is almost like experiencing my own mother's slow death.
In a way, my mother is dying too. We all are, really. This is a scary realization. It makes me sad to think of mortality and all the 'what ifs' and 'should haves.'
I remember once Mrs. Ingle wrote a murder mystery with parts for each of the invitees to Sarah's birthday party. I can recall, easily, how she makes her capital letter K's and S's. I know, because that is how I learned form them on my own.
I have always thought jokingly that Sarah and I had been switched at birth: her mother and I both love to cook, throw parties, and shop. We love jewelry. Silly little things like that make me miss her. I talk as though she's already gone, but she's not. Somehow, it's easier for me to handle the situation this way. Morbid and wrong, perhaps, but it is how I feel.
I snap back into my surrounding and realize play has stopped and suddenly it's my turn. I glance across the table and notice how Mrs. Ingle looks good in colors, ever the sharp dresser Right now, though, she's dressed for comfort in her plum sweat suit. She leans back with a slight sigh. Her back hurts and she is using a heating pad.
My mom makes a comment on how Sarah needs to THWAK ME! We all laugh and it consider the various tenses and the implications of thwack. My eyes are growing sleepy and I'm thankful that tonight I will be able to sleep, since I know that Mrs. Ingle probably won't. I wonder how she does it. How does she continue each day, despite this horrible creature living with her?