Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight (obviously) SM does. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: This is a one shot reflecting what happened when my mother recently lost her battle with cancer. I chose to use a 15 year old Seth to explain my story for me, and I am posting this for my mother as a mothers day gift that I can never give her.
You may think that posting her death is a bit morbid, but she would be happy I am actually talking about this (well writing) when so many of my close friends didn't even know what I went through. Thank you to my lovely beta Penny for helping me on this.
Summary: Set in Hull, England. Seth is outside the cancer hospital, knowing he should go in but cannot seem to move, he stands outside fighting back the tears.
No More Mothers Day
I stand outside the hospital, unable to go back inside. I breath in deep the air that I came outside for, to get myself together as the emotions have become too much. I hate myself for needing this time, needing to be alone when I know my family needs me inside. They need me to be with them and help them get through this as one, but try as I might, my legs won't cooperate and are refusing to move forward. I know I will regret if I don't go back in. I know that she needs to know that I am there at her bedside to hold her hand for when the time comes. I do know this, but how can I re enter knowing that at any point my mother will lose the fight and the cancer will consume her and take her from us, from me?
Tears fill my eyes and I have to fight to contain them. I can feel the pressure as they try to force their way out, but I wont let them. This is the only aspect of my life I can take control of right now and I will try as hard as I can until I can try no more. I don't want to cry and I definitely don't want the people around me to see that side of me, the sad little kid that has come to the cancer hospital to lose someone he loves. This is none of their business. This is all mine and I wont give them the satisfaction of knowing. Yes, I know that people come here expecting to see the families of the patients with worry in their eyes, some even crying in the canteen, but I wont let this be me. My head tells me that this is a cancer hospital and people come here for treatment, and sometimes, to die. It's not these people's fault that my mother is one of the unlucky ones. People expect to see a young kid crying here, and I know it's the norm, but I can't allow the tears to fall. Once they do, I know they will never stop.
My mother is different to these people. She shouldn't be here; she should be at home with me and my sister Leah, laughing happily with us. She should be there when things get me down so she can make them all right again. Who will do these things when she is gone? I am a selfish person for thinking this way, but how else should I feel? I don't wish cancer on anyone, but to be able to take it from my mother and give it to someone else, would I be able to stop myself?
Harsh winds move violently around me as I stand as far away from the entrance near the car park as I can. I breathe deeply to collect myself and focus my mind, try to regain my self-control, the control I have lost so many times while being here. The winds are freezing, blasting the cold to my bones, but no matter how cold I get, I still cannot move from this spot. The hospital to me, however new and polished it may look, is like the end of the world, a building made of all the most evil things I can imagine. Bats and monsters must hide in it's shadows at night, sucking the life from these innocent people, these once happy people.
I feel my mobile vibrate in my pocket. I have had it on silent since I arrived on the ward two days ago when I was taken out of school as mother took a turn for the worst and was taken back in. Try as we might to comfort her at home, she couldn't stop screaming and the family doctor said she was sent home too soon and needed to be back in a specialised environment. I have ignored my phone since I got here, partly because I am not ready to face people yet, and I cannot take the sorrow in their voices. A lump fills in my throat as I think that maybe this is it, the call to say I have missed it and my mother is gone, left the human plane knowing her only son wasn't there for her. I feel cracks forming within myself, readying me to fall apart. I nervously look at the phone and I realise its only another message from another friend, checking to see if I am ok, to see if I need anything. I ignore it and leave it unanswered like all the messages I get now. They all feel so unimportant, like a waste of my time to read and respond. How can I reply to them and tell them how I am when I don't even know myself? If anything though, the text was the jolt back to life I needed and was enough for me to start heading back to the entrance and back to my mother's room, to be there for her like I should be. I make the short walk slowly, felling dread with each step.
"Seth!" I hear the familiar voice call to me as I approach the entrance to the hospital. Jacob Black runs towards me, engulfing me in a brother like hug, locking me in his embrace, encouraging the tears to start to fall. I pull them back, getting a hold of myself. I cannot let him see me this weak. I need to show him I can be strong for my mother, that I am her strong son.
"Are you alright? How's your mum?" He asks, still holding me to his chest before letting go then saying, "I came as soon as I could, kid."
"It's…bad…they…said…" I have to control my breathing to carry on. "She only has ho….urs," I finally reply.
"Shit! Lets get in so she knows we are there," he says to me. "Are you okay?"
I simply nod to show him I am okay, but to me it is a nod of utter sorrow.
We head inside and walk silently through the reception, down the stairs and through corridor after corridor, making our way to the ward. Jacob doesn't try to break my silence with small talk; he knows that it's best to leave me to my silent thoughts and not to make me talk until I am ready. I appreciate this. We arrive at the ward doors and I press the buzzer for reception to let us in while squirting some of the anti bacterial gel hanging on the wall into my hands to clean them. I indicate to Jake that he should do the same. The nurses insist on this, a necessary precaution all visitors and staff to the ward must undertake so we don't carry any germs in with us that could make a patient sicker. Not that my mother could get worse.
As the doors open, we walk inside and past the reception desk. I see the smiles on the nurse's faces as they see me. That sad smile I am used to seeing that says your mother is going to die soon, and I struggle to stop the tears again. Sadness washes over me the closer we get to my mother's room, adding to the sadness already in my heart. As I open the door, we enter the darkened room, lighted by only the one small lamp near the door, away from my mother's death bed. The blinds are closed, blocking out the light from sun, as my mother, who used to literally lay and bake in the sun for hours, now cannot abide it as it hurts her eyes. I don't look at the bed. I can't see my mother like this, laying almost lifeless on the bed struggling to breathe anymore. She is now so different from the mother I knew, the woman so much younger then her years who loved her life and her children so much.
"Jake, thanks for coming," Leah, my sister, says quietly from her chair near my mother.
"Only sorry I wasn't here sooner. Hi everyone," Jacob says to the room. Our extended family is here. Sam, Leah's husband is by her side holding her hand. Carlisle and Esme Cullen, their son Edward, his wife Bella, and their other children Alice and Jasper, are all here. All of whom my mother classes as her blood, people she insisted must be allowed at her side should they wish even though they are not immediate family like the doctors and nurses insist. They have helped us through the hardest times, like when my father passed when I was younger, and they are here now to bid my mother her final farewell.
Alice smiles at me from across the room, her sweetest smile to silently check I am okay. I force a small smile back, so she knows I am trying. Carlisle gets up to give me his seat near my mother and I walk nervously over to take my place and hold her hand, reassuring her I am there. As I take my seat and her hand in mine, I pull the hood of my hoodie up and over my head so that it rests just above my nose. This is something I always do when I am sad, when things just get too hard; this is my security, my safe haven. My family doesn't question this. They have seen me do it so many times ever since my father died, and they accept it. Don't ask me how, but I feel safe here within my own small piece of empty space; safe to feel without seeing other people watch me. I am not aware of how long I sit there, and I don't notice the movement of the people around me until I hear my sister at my side, whispering through my hood, never intruding on my small security.
"Seth. We are all going to go to the TV room for a little while. We won't be long. We just want to give you a little time so you can…..can say your….you know," she says, kissing the side of my hood. And I do know what she means. My goodbyes. "The nurses suggested it. Only Sam and I will come back; the rest will wait in the TV room unless we need them."
I simply nod once and everyone leaves the room, each kissing my mother and saying their goodbyes, how much they love her, and how they will take care of my sister and me. Each one makes the lump in my throat tighten even more, making it harder and harder to hold back the tears. Somehow, I manage a little longer.
I am left alone in the room with my mother, her hand in mine with lonely silence except for her ever struggling breath while she sleeps. She doesn't wake up anymore, hasn't for about a day. The last words I heard from her were just random repeats of I love you. No matter what you asked her, she just simply said 'I love you', like she had never said it enough to us. Each breath she now takes is always followed by a small gasp of pain, the morphine never quite doing enough to help her. The nurses say it can no longer help; the cancer spread too fast. I allow one single tear to fall from my eye. It feels like it burns my skin as it falls, but this one is for my mother.
I have to say my goodbyes, I know this. I have to tell her I will be okay, but I can't form the words. All I want is for the cancer to leave her and come into me, to take me instead of her. I can't imagine this world without her, walking through this life ever alone. I know I have my sister and the Cullen's, but without my mother, I could be in a crowded room and still feel alone. Tears begin to flood from my eyes as I say in as strong a voice as I can muster.
"If…..if you need to go, you…you can…" I say sadly, looking down and not at her. "I will miss you….but I…don't want you to suffer."
Suddenly, my mother takes one large intake of breath and then lets it out. Seconds that seem like hours go by and my heart sinks into my stomach as I think she may have gone.
"NO! NOT YET!" I shout. I can't be alone when this happens. She suddenly breathes again as if she could hear me through the pain that I am sure is ringing through her ears, staying only because I wanted her too. I feel shame, but I can't let her go.
"Seth, are you okay?" Leah asks as she and Sam rush into the room after hearing my yells.
"I…she…almost…" And I am silent again. She comes over and hugs me and I feel Sam's hand on my shoulder, letting me know that he is there. Leah turns and cries into Sam as they make their way to my mother's side again.
We sit at my mother's side until well into the night. I decline all food, drink, and offers of a bed to sleep. I like my sister, simply sit and hold our mothers hand, with Sam holding onto Leah and my mother's leg. We don't talk; we have nothing to say, and we just all make our own little silent prayers in our heads. My mother's breathing becomes more and more forced and more and more pain appears in her moans. This is a sound I know will haunt me for years to come, hearing the pain of one I love so much and having no control to stop it.
"Mummy, its alright, you can go," Leah sobs, forcing me to look at her in shock. "I am sorry, but she has suffered enough as she says to us."
"We understand, babe." Sam says, hugging her.
My mother is worsening but she is holding on, like she is refusing to go, refusing to leave her children. I get the sense of another person entering the room, but as I look round there is nobody there. Almost as soon as I have this feeling, my mother begins to raise her arms into the air as if she is forcing someone, something back. She is shaking her head from side to side; fighting off the presence I feel but cannot see, stopping it from taking her. Leah is sobbing, repeating her words over and over.
"Sue its okay, I will look after them. Don't suffer more then you need," Sam is saying, his voice shakier then normal.
Why are they saying this? I don't want her to go; don't want her to leave me, my mum, mother, and my mummy! I want her here with me! As I think these thoughts, I see her fighting more and more, struggling to keep whatever it is off her. It's then I realise, could she be fighting because I need her to fight? Does she feel she needs to stay here, for me? I say the words before I even think them and I don't realise at first that they come from me.
"Y-you….you can go, mum. It…it's okay," I say. Tears and sobs follow my words as my mother's hands go back to the bed, falling onto those of her children with a weak grip. It's only when this softens that I know it's happened and I hear Leah and Sam's sobs. We all sit there crying, not knowing what to do or what to say.
We sit in silence for a long time. Sam asked if he should get a nurse but Leah said she needed a moment more, a last few moments with our mother. I have never felt this much sadness since my father. I simply just cry and cry, the tears finally having their freedom. Where do I go from here? What do I do? My chest is so tight and it hurts so much to breathe.
It's then that I feel it... a gentle kiss on my cheek. It shocks me as in my secure place, nobody ever comes into here, but I realise it's not Leah, nor Sam, or the Cullen's who are all unaware our mother has gone. As the words fill my head, I know exactly who it is.
Be brave, my beautiful boy. I will always love and watch over you. I am with your father now and we are happy and at peace. Please don't be sad, my angel.
I try not to hate my next few moments, but even though she has just died, I remove my hood and send my mother a loving smile, my first since this all started.
A/N: Thank you for reading. I really hope you all liked what I wrote, however sad the theme. Please feel free to leave a review.