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.

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.


28 Responses

  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”

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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