Updated: Jul 12, 2020
This was a day Sam would never forget. Not because it was necessarily the worst, with the passing of his grandmother, but because it was absolutely the farthest thing from his mind as a possibility, catastrophic.
No more quiet afternoons eating popcorn, while she drank her tenth cup of coffee. No more listening to the clicking of her needles as the day's troubles slowly erased from his mind, even if for a short while. No more quotations from the Bible, slipping out of her mouth, like scripture was her native tongue. No more smells wafting from the kitchen around supper time that somehow thrilled his soul more than his favorite TV programs or a trip to an amusement park. No more. Suddenly.
The short drive to the hospital was the only time he had to prepare himself for the rest of his life with this large vacancy. She made no movements, just shallow breaths. In the back of the ambulance, he pleaded with her to open her eyes and look at him one more time, but she didn't. He only saw what looked like peace come over her, and one time he thought he felt her squeeze his hand.
"I'm sorry, son."
"It'll be alright, kid."
"These things happen, so sorry."
None of those phrases from the medical crew helped him endure this shock to his heart. They carted his Nana away and made a semblance of effort to revive her, but it seemed like the people in blue scrubs, stethoscopes hanging around their necks, were just going through the motions, for his sake. They periodically made sideways glances at him and whispered under their breath. The younger EMT with sad expression made his way over to where Sam stood in a puddle of his worst fears, and offered to guide him to the waiting room, where he was sure to find his mom. Sam reluctantly followed with an overwhelming feeling of fracture, like he should lay right down on one of the gurneys and wait to be plastered together.
"Sam!" he recognised his mom's voice but could not identify her yet. There was a large crowd that stood in the waiting room with her. Stella Parker had influenced a lot of people and a lot of people loved her. He stood still. He waited for his mom to come hold him, so that he could bury his head in her chest and cry as to give voice to his bleeding soul, but she just approached him quickly, grabbed his arm, and sat him down next to her, in a heap of her own worst fears coming to light. She had a look of confusion, horror, and Sam had the sense that she was utterly uncomfortable with all the people around.
He starred blankly ahead. Silent through all of the condolences and well wishing. Some touched the top of his head and prayed, but he felt nothing. Not a word could be said, no soothing oil, no prayer. His heart was as dark as the night that had heavily enclosed them in.