Image credits to: Miamelly

It was just another day. Another day of human beings trotting around like specks of dust on the face of Earth - minding our own business.

That one phone call completely changed my life. That call from my mother.

Her voice, calm yet worried. Relaxed, yet afraid.

She slowly explained that she knew something was wrong with her. With her body, her health.

That, she may die. "It's time," she so very calmly related.

With a fit of disbelief, I jerked my head aside and snorted.

You see, she was fine and healthy. I could not phantom why would she say such things about herself dying. Is it things that elderly people do? They want their loved ones to fuss around for them, to care for them and to feel loved by our attention. Do they do that? Do they feel the little strings of loneliness creeping into their hearts, plunging into their souls and twining around their minds?

Mother said she could feel her death was coming. We did not want to be trapped into her worrisome world she may have had built around herself. Well, we - my husband and I, assured her that we would go over to her house to visit her. It was a mundane, dull and peaceful Saturday afternoon. We took our time to prepare to head out as quickly as we could - or rather, a sloth's pace.


Mother's house was small but cozy. She lived alone. I stepped into the house and oh-my-goodness. It was a mess. Had I not known, I thought it was a burglary! The television was switched on, yakking away like a french horn mixed with a couple of high-pitched ladies yapping so much that made my blood boil with annoyance.

You may have guessed it, yes, it did not feel right. Mother do not mess things up like this. There were clothes thrown around, plastic bags and containers all over, as though there had been a crazy party the night before.

I turned to look at my husband at the doorway. His face went white. "WHAT?"

I scanned around the living room's floor and saw Mother on the floor - motionless. My voice reacted first before I knew it, "MUM?!"

Scrambling through the rubbish to reach my mum, I tripped, but still frantically crawled towards Mother like an insane worm. She was not moving. I tried to hear her heartbeat. No pulse, no breathing. Nothing. She's dead, just like that.

WHAT IN THE WORLD? I knew then, I took things for granted. My husband and I embraced in a hug, both of us weeping.

Train of thoughts hammering onto me, "What happened to her? How did she die just like that? I could have be here earlier. It's my fault. My fault. I hate myself."

With a shivering voice, I asked my husband, "What's next? What shall we do?" My husband still needed some time to get back his mind. He was thinking.

I let him be. I turned to Mother and saw her body slowly stirring to get up. She opened her eyes and seemed to have woken up from a deep sleep. Her eyes caught sight of me and stared at me softly, smiling.

Oh JESUS, MARY, DAVID. I was relieved. She was not dead. What were we thinking?

I laughed and looked at my husband. We were so foolish. Oh my goodness, the embarrassment.

"Look darling, she's fine!"

My husband stared at me in disbelief, with the most grievous look I've ever seen. "What are you talking about?"

Is my husband blind or something? "Look! She is taking my hand!"

Mother smiled and assured me, "it's okay."

My husband still looked confused, "Darling, she is not moving. What do you mean?"

This got me more confused. Was I hallucinating? Mother kept talking to me, "I have to tell you, certain things in this house. I have to teach you what to do!" She sounded delighted to teach me the house chores.

Her hands felt cold. No, she is just feeling cold. I wanted my husband to stop scaring me, "DARLING! LOOK! She is speaking to me! What is going on with you?"

He freaked out. "Stop it. She is still laying there. She is DEAD!"

I knew I was not insane. "What? Am I hallucinating or what? Help!" I shook my mum's unusually cold hand off and covered my face with my hands. I turned to peek at my dear mother.

She looked confused, sad, dejected. "Don't worry, it's okay."

"Darling! What's wrong? What's going on? Your mother is not moving. You're scaring me!"

I cowered and screamed. Impossible. I'm not losing my mind. I wanted all to go back to normal. I love her, I love my mother. I needed to straightened my mind up.

Am I really hallucinating or is she here, speaking to me, as a real spirit?

A Grain of Sand