sleeping beauty

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I hate hospital waiting rooms
with their cold sterile air
And their nice big TV’s
Their plush chairs and couches
All to make you “comfortable”
I remember setting outside the doors
that led to my grandmother’s room
in Intensive Care
she was on a respirator
hospital regulations refuse to let me in at the age of nine
for three months I was not allowed
to see the woman that I spent every waking and sleeping moment with
the next time I saw her
it was at her funeral
I was told it was for the best
she would never want me to see her in her chemically-induced coma
Part of me wanted to scream I could handle it
I could be strong in there
But I know it’s not true
I would have wept ’till I needed to be sedated if I had seen
The respirator that breathed for my Nanny
Or the tubes and the machine pumping her blood for her because
Because her Lou Gehrig's Disease stopped even that muscle from functioning
So, I saw at her funeral and I know I made her proud
I did not throw a tantrum
I did not scream and wail
I did not act a fool
Yes I cried
Later
I bravely went up to her coffin
I remember saying she looked like sleeping beauty
A frail lovely thing
A cold shell of what had been
Now even that saddens me
My Nanny who had the love that brought people far and wide
Who had the strength of African Warrior Queens
Had become sleeping beauty
 





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