“Breathe in, breathe out, this is wonderful. Back in this room again after so many years, but this time alone. I just wonder how Jim and I fitted into this bed, but we were then younger and the pounds were less; anyhow the closer the better in those days. Now I am back again and am spending another night on this wonderful bed. We always found the view from the window so romantic; or was it the window we found romantic. Oh Jim, I wish you were here again, just to see that nothing has changed.
The rafters supporting the roof and tracing its outlines arising to a peak with their heavy beams in the middle; I always knew if I wanted to die somewhere, then it would be here. The lady looked at me with a strange face when I told her I only needed the room for a night, they were probably used to people staying at least at week, as Jim and I did in the days far gone. Her reaction when I told her I only had a small bag with me was also strange. Who reserves a room in a hotel with just one small bag, but I did not need more. Just my nightdress is enough. When they find me I want them to find something peaceful and relaxed. I even bought the nightdress for the occasion. Not transparent, but white and silky, and not a fabric that creases. No, I do not want to be found creased and cheap as if I was something thrown away from life. Jim said his goodbyes to me last week and said this time you cannot come with me. It is a journey I am making alone. That was easy for Jim to say, but being without Jim was being without part of my life.
Meeting Jim Brannigan was the most wonderful day of my life, we both knew we were meant for each other. We had spent all our days together sharing moments never to be forgotten. When Jack was born, he was so small, those tiny fingers and toes that seemed to have a life of their own. I think it was the first and only moment I saw Jim with tears in his eyes as he held our baby in his arms for the first time. I never forgot that moment in life. Jim taking Jack to the football games, playing with him in the yard and both of us sharing the moment when Jack broke his leg and had to go to hospital. Sitting outside the ward, Jim with his arms around my shoulder and telling me everything would be all right.
Now everything is no longer all right. Jim left so quickly and I just do not feel all right anymore, so I will join him. I am glad I found this place again and nothing has changed. The evening is drawing in and it is getting darker, although looking out of the window I can still see the yellow ears of corn shining in the light of the moon; time to bring some light into the room. They still have the same old fashioned lamps here, but they fit so well and how they illuminate everything, looks almost magical.
Is death magical? Jim looked so relaxed when he left me for the last time. He held my hand and smiled and then he was gone, shrouded in a shining light that spent peace everywhere. Will it be like that when I go?
Now it is really getting dark, even the lamps no longer feed the room with the light it needs. Wait Jim I will be coming soon, just wait. A flash, a blinding flash, Jim is this the way it was. No, wait a minute, I am not ready for this. Another flash, and it hurts, Jim where are you, please take me to where you are.”
“How is she doctor?”
“Mr. Brannigan she was very lucky, we nearly lost her. The impact of the car crash killed your father instantly, but your mother was thrown clear of the car. She was in a bad way, and her heart stopped beating, but we managed to bring her back and she has been in a coma since the operation, but she should pull through.”
“Doctor, I think Mrs. Brannigan is waking up”
“Thank you nurse. Ok, Mr. Brannigan you heard the good news. Your mother is awake.”
“Can I see her doctor?”
“You certainly can, I think seeing her son at a time like this would be part of the best medicine.”
Jack Brannigan entered the ward, and thought his mother to be so small in comparison to the machinery humming around her bed.
“Don’t worry Mr. Brannigan” said the doctor “the tubes are helping her to breathe better. It is just routine at the moment. The operation was a success and we managed to stop the internal bleeding, it is just a matter of time and she should recover.”
“Did you hear that mum, the doctor said you will soon be on your feet.”
“Jack, what are you doing here, did you book a room in at the hotel as well? Did you come on this journey with me?”
“Mum, I don’t know what you mean. Just relax and take it easy. The doctor said you will be ok.”
And with time Mrs. Brannigan was ok. It surprised Jack how well she took the news that his father was killed in the accident; as if she knew he was no longer there. They say that time heals all wounds and with time Mrs. Brannigan was back on her feet. She then decided to make a journey to the hotel where she was so happy with Jim, where they had spent their honeymoon. Her son and his family came with her, in the meanwhile his wife had given birth to a son, Jimmy, that Mrs. Brannigan was sure looked exactly like her departed husband Jim. The visit to the hotel was a disappointment. It was still there, but had been renovated. The wonderful half moon window on the top floor had been replaced by one of those large square glass windows spoiling the atmosphere completely as far as she was concerned. No, it was not the same anymore, but then she realised that this was right. Things were not the same anymore and she must get on with her life.
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