Into Emptiness

A Mother's DeathNorman Fischer

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© Marie Hyon

At first it was a shock to see her. She didn't look the same at all. Her face was ashen and all puffed up from the chemotherapy or radiation. Her arms were huge from it, her hair was matted and a different color, her voice had gone all croaky and harsh, and the medication had got her mixed up and disconnected. She'd sit up in bed all of a sudden, beside herself with anger or frustration, and yell to my Aunt Adeline, "No, turn me over, not that way, this way, no, not that way, I said like this, like that." Adeline and my father, and my Aunt Sylvia all looked at one another and at me.

She'd go in and out of consciousness. She'd see things. She'd say, "Don't let them make you do anything you don't want to."

She said, "You all think I'm crazy, but I know what I'm doing."

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