The Saving Grace of Jello

I don’t really know what cancer is, but mom’s in the hospital having surgery because she has it. I think that’s what Aunt Barb had and she died. I hope mom doesn’t die, too.

We’re visiting her today. She might be ready to come home, but I’m not sure. I hope so. She’s in a nice private hospital. Her room is almost homey with wood trim and soft lighting, not sterile like a typical hospital room. She’s sitting up in bed, propped up with pillows behind her. Her noon meal sits half eaten on the portable tray; she was always a slow eater, but this hospital food seems to have caused her to pick even more than usual. I climb up on the bed next to her and eye what’s left. “Can I have your Jello?” I ask. A half smile crosses her lips as she reckons I can help her clean her plate. “I have to eat it all before I can go home,” she says.

I wasn’t there the last time she went into the hospital. That time it was colon cancer. No one called to tell me she’d been admitted again or how bad it was, so I wasn’t there to eat her Jello. Maybe if I had been she could have come home again.

Rays of summer sun
Overshadowed by dark pall
Cancer beckons death


It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and guest host Lady Nyo is calling for haibuns involving a childhood memory. If it was May or August, I might have conjured up a happy memory to share. But it’s January and I’m missing my mom so this is what I’ve got for today.

About Linda Kruschke

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.
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28 Responses to The Saving Grace of Jello

  1. Such a well written Haibun…I loved it and it hurt…this line was just too much and I cried… “I wasn’t there to eat her Jello. Maybe if I had been she could have come home again”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really well structured, with that jello. The last paragraph brought tears to my eyes. This is one of your very best pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bryan Ens says:

    Interesting how the mind of a child can make those associations. How old were you?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. C.C. says:

    Wow. I am sure that jello has never been ‘just jello’ to you after this experience. It would always be laden with such beautiful meaning for you to treasure as you hold your mom close in memory during the times you miss her most.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a sad story and you tell it beautifully from the child’s perspective with the detail that stood out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathy Reed says:

    Wonderful story, sad but oh so memorable and deeply moving to you whenever you think about it, I am sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ZQ says:

    Sad and written very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MarinaSofia says:

    This is just so poignant – and very, very powerful image of the jello, a hugely significant detail.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bodhirose says:

    You put us right there with you as a child…so sweet and endearing amidst the seriousness of cancer. I liked the half smile of your mother as she allowed you to have that jello.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing this painful memory. It was beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah — this is beautiful. Simple and profound at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Gripping poetry here. I can sense the emotions behind this. It’s always the little things (jello) that can make memories so much stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. frankhubeny says:

    I suspect parents should always tell their children what is happening to them so they don’t feel abandoned even when they are older. I will try to remember to do that thanks to your haibun.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Grace says:

    Very sad and touching story ~ Hospital food can be so bad but a jello to a child is delicious ~ Maybe, maybe she could ~ Thanks for sharing this Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ladynyo says:

    Whoa, Linda. I had to take a deep breath to stop the tears. How wonderfully you have written this haibun! The detail of jello works so well here. Heartbreaking especially as she didn’t come home. January seems to be a month of these sad memories. Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Michael says:

    I thought you told and wrote this so well. It beautiful the way our childhood minds worked isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Debbie says:

    Hugs. You shared this so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Really sad,so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a terrible sad story.. the focus on the jelly makes this such a strong story… so strange the things we do remember.

    Liked by 1 person

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