The rage within me has proportions respectable enough to overshadow hope. The misery is tight and uniform. The arm propelling drive has been dislocated. I hold my breath as another wave of gloom washes over my battered body. I will not learn to swim.
The burden is not in weighty emotion, but in the inability to process it.
My aunt is dying. Her children are planning the funeral, as she agonizes. It is the sensible thing to do. Arminda will soon be under ground. I cannot imagine this, but I do not have to. Soon, the images will be presented to me, and they will be real. It is beyond my power to prevent this.
Her children mourn before it is time, as we all do.
Arminda’s head aches. It is foggy with medication. She wishes to no longer eat, but she will do it for my mother. She asks if she will truly die. There are malignant tumors everywhere. She feels them more than she does anything else. They are larger than the comfort we attempt to provide. They are more painful than the pleasant memories still left in her mind.
If I could have one minute to be a child again. To be in her arms. To sleep in her bed, where it is never cold. If I could have one more glass of carrot juice. If I could pick oranges from her trees, and hide behind her car. If I could eat everything on my plate, as she promises it will make me strong. If I could have these things, I would have it all.