There is no warning rattle at the door. I am not sure why. I was convinced there would be as I approached it. The closer I came didn't seem to matter. I had been prepared for it and expected it but here I am and....nothing.
Staring out my window as the sun came up over the horizon, I had no idea what the prognosis would be. My appointment was only three hours away and somehow I knew what they were going to say. Call it premonition or whatever you want, I just knew. I had already prepared how I was going to tell my children and every time I thought about it I had to choke back the tears.
"You are too young," my mother stammered. "Surely there must be some kind of mistake. You have to get a second opinion."
"I have, Mom. Three different specialists have all told me the same thing. It has spread too far and all the treatments have only prolonged the inevitable."
Just for a moment, mother and I switched roles
"How is Jim going to take care of the children on his own? He can barely take care of himself." Through her silent sobs, I could hear the anger in her tone and knew she did not mean that. She was experiencing two stages of grief at the same time - anger and denial.
In my weakness, I became strong for my mother. Thinking of words to comfort her helped me in some strange way.
"Mom, Jim is an incredible dad to the girls and he will pull it together. I know he is falling apart now, but when the time comes, he will be the pillar he needs to be for them."
How could the doctors possibly know how much time I had left?
I had no tears left. I must be strong when they tell me how much longer; how many more weeks or how many days.
The sunbeams were pouring into my window now and I looked at the weather vane I had stared at so many mornings before. It had always intrigued me. Who ever heard of putting a heart on top of a weather vane? Time went by so slowly in here and I would often make up stories about a man who placed a red heart on that vane in memory of someone he lost. But, this morning was different. As many times as I had stared at it, I had never seen a bird on it. He was so tiny, so soft. Listening closely I heard his song and it was in perfect pitch.
I closed my eyes and drank in the song and the rays from the morning sun. The doctors had prepared me for the rattle before my last breath, but I do not hear or feel any rattle. I feel such peace as the life slowly seems to escape me. It is as if I am walking away from my bed even though I am still lying there. I am getting cold now and I don't feel the sun's warmth or hear the bird's song. It will be over soon. I don't need to see the specialists. They will not have to give me any bad news. I have no fear. I know how much I am loved and that I will be missed. I know I put up a tremendous fight. This isn't losing. This is moving forward - through the door. It is over now. I am on the other side.
This is my fiction contribution to this week's Speak Easy challenge using the line There is no warning rattle at the door, from Maya Angelou's poem, A Plagued Journey. In addition, the media prompt of the bird and heart must be used as well.