Just Three Words

Life is a gift.

And she knows it.

She knows it while she sits alone at her house. She rocks in her rocking chair. She dusts the picture frames. She waits for the grandkids to call. She paces the floor. She pulls out her husband’s old shirt and wraps herself in it.

Life is a gift.

And he knows it.

He knows it while he watches his father lay on the bed. He watches his dad gurgle and gasp for breath. There’s no warmth; no talk. He gets ‘shooed’ out by the nurses.

Life is a gift.

And she knows it.

She sees the two parallel markings. She feels a little kick one day. She can’t stop smiling and rubbing her belly. Then she has pain. She closes the curtains. And she has blood. She’s on the floor in the bathroom crying.

Life is a gift.

And he knows it.

He knows it when he tries to say, “I love you.” His brain can think the words, but his mouth can’t say them. He can’t even lift his arms to hug anymore. He can’t walk. He can’t eat. He can’t say it: “I love you.”

Life is a gift.

She yells at her husband to pick his shirt up off the ground.

Life is a gift.

He hasn’t talked with his dad in years.

Life is a gift.

She squints her eyes shut. Holds her breath. And pops a pill on the morning after.

Life is a gift.

She says “I love you” at the end of the call, and he doesn’t say anything back.

Life is a gift.

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