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One Day

by Julie Keon on May 1st, 2018

One day, this life we live will cease to exist and the future we dread will come to pass.

One day, my arms will be empty. Arms that held you from birth until death. Every cell, every muscle, every tendon will recall the weight of you in my arms.

One day, I will no longer hear the sound of your wheelchair on the creaky hardwood floors nor the beeping of the feeding pump. The silence will be deafening.

One day, there will be no need for night nurses and caregivers and I will wait for the sound of the door to open but it never will.

One day, I will stubbornly have one foot in the land of the living and one foot in the land of the dead. I will refuse to let you go completely, because to do so might be the end of me.

One day, I will sit in an empty house listening to the sound of my breath and I will marvel that my body carries on even though I am dead inside.

One day, my beating heart will be the only indication that I am still alive.

One day, I will have to relearn how to be in a world that I left behind so long ago. I will return to it kicking and screaming as the world I have known for so long begins to fade into the past.

One day, I will be forced to relinquish my identity as your mother. I will always be your mother but not in this time and place. One day I will awkwardly answer the question, “Do you have kids?” by stumbling over my words before blurting out, “Yes, I once had a daughter.”

One day, hopefully many, many, many days from now, I will say a final goodbye to you, my darling Meredith.

One day, I will have no choice but to learn to live again.


~ Chapter 42 from “What I Would Tell You~ One Mother’s Adventure with Medical Fragility

© 2017 Julie Keon

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  1. Andrea Gumpert permalink

    Perfect. Beautiful. Heartbreaking.
    This is the fear that so many of us live with.
    Thank you Julie for putting words to it.

  2. So beautifully said. Mothers and Fathers, Grandparents and Siblings walk into our lives all the time carrying this impending loss. Sometimes we see anger, fear or sadness – or joy for the moment , but inside they are carrying it all. Let us be kind and compassionate to the other – all of our hearts are more tender than most can express. Your words speak for so many Julie.

  3. Sylvia Mackey permalink

    I love this it reminds me of the way I’m living now .im half alive and half dead when you lose a child a part of you goes with them. She was my life 24/7 and then to nothing how do you go on with great difficulty. My heart will never be hole again she took a piece of me with her.

  4. Purdy permalink

    My daughter has a trust fund, and we were told it would be in our best interests to make funeral arrangements ahead of time, as once she actually passes, all the assets will freeze until it’s all sorted out in probate court…
    So I had to force myself to select a tiny coffin, set aside funds for a burial plot, and all the heart stopping things that come with planning a funeral for one who isn’t even deceased yet. She is healthy and thriving at 11 years old, but I’m also aware that when God calls you home, you go.
    This poem dictates exactly how I felt while I was in the process of doing all the things that needed to be done, and I wanted to thank you for sharing something so many of us are even afraid to talk about, since it is without a doubt the one thing we CANNOT avoid.
    God bless you.

  5. Christine Ruskusky permalink

    Yes, this is well said! We always admire that you and Sue always want Gabe and Garrett to be a part of family gatherings.Of course, we miss them when they aren’t there with all of us but remember its not the land of the dead…it’s the land of eternal life. Love to you all papa and Christi♥️❤️

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