Liam walked up to her bed and held her hand, “What do you want to tell me?”
“I want to tell you how I got this…AIDS I mean.” I watched Liam lean in slightly at the sound of her words, “So I was walking to my car after a job interview and a man told me he needed my help, so I decided to be a good citizen and help him out. Problem was, he wanted….a different kind of help…with something I didn’t want any part of.”
“Mom…you….you were raped?” Liam could barely get the word out.
She nodded, “Yes. But you know the good thing about it?”
“What?” Liam hissed the word, still taking in the vile fact that his poor mother was raped.
“If I wasn’t raped then I wouldn’t have gotten you for a son.”
“Mom I-” Liam paused to suck in a ragged breath, “I love you. You can go now.” He stood up and kissed her forehead, “Good-bye.”
“I love you too honey. And I will not forget you when I’m in heaven dear.”
“Thanks Mom.” Then Liam left the room so no one else saw him break down and really cry.
I swallowed loudly, knowing it was my turn to say good-bye. I walked up to her, “Hazel. I-I don’t want to say goodbye.”
“Then don’t.” I stroked Hazel’s beautiful golden hair as I stared into her sea green eyes, trying to memorize every feature of hers, “I love you and will love you forever.”
“As will I Joel,” She laughed, the laugh soon turning to a cough, “Thanks for picking up that can of SpaghettiO’s.”
I laughed at the thought of that memory, “Your welcome honey…You know what?”
“You are the strongest person I know.” Hazel closed her eyes, obviously being tired, physically and mentally, “Thank you Joel.”
I studied her a little longer, and understood. If I love Hazel so much…I’d be willing to give her up. She’s dealt with this pain long enough, time for her to be free, “Hazel, I’m going to set you free now.” I knelt down to kiss her lightly on the lips, “Good-bye my love.”
That night the doctor called, saying Hazel had passed away peacefully in her sleep.