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Playing Jenga at 4 AM



Since my Mother’s death every morning has been filled with insomnia between the hours of 2-6 AM. . .roughly the same time my mother sat alone in her home suffering from a heart attack. She didn’t call someone till much later because she didn’t want to wake anyone up or perhaps she thought she could sleep it off not knowing it was a heart attack that would end her life. She made it to the hospital and was conscious, talking to us, telling us to eat the bread in the freezer, to eat the meatballs in the frig, eat everything—to not let it go to waste. Her work was to nourish and she did it right up until the end. Her last words mumbled to someone, somewhere else, hopefully another soul to feed.


During these hours of sleeplessness I find comfort in my books, my tea, the popcorn I make to feed my dog so he will let me read, drink my tea. I like to balance the bowl and mug on top of my reading stack so he doesn’t help himself to my valerian root, honey blend or eat all the popcorn at once. I like to pull a book out from the pile and see if I can keep the cup and bowl from falling, breaking. I want to believe my cup and bowl will never break, but I know this is a game I will eventually lose.





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©2018 by Mary Hanrahan