What happened to that life that was here only moments ago?
Her one and only love and the life they shared for nearly 60 years. Her thoughts strayed to the last few weeks they spent together as his illness slowly took him away from her. The precious words and moments they shared.
She remembered when he became so weak he could not feed himself, so she held him in her arms and nourished his body with small amounts of food. The softness of his whiskers when her lips brushed his face with a gentle kiss as he slept, the frailty of his body as she cradled him when he took his last breaths in this life. So many memories tucked away in her mind, treasured in her memory box so she could recall them when the loneliness overwhelmed her. Memories so real she could taste and feel them when she closed her eyes.
The intimate part of their life long asleep as their bodies had aged, but she remembered and felt the familiar stirrings in her loins. She closed her eyes to once more taste his kisses, feel the strength of his arms cradling her, his gentleness as he lay upon her taking her to himself and that perfect moment, his sweet breath and dewey skin as they lay with legs entwined in the afterglow of completed love.
With these delicious thoughts slipping in and out of her memory, her head slipped onto her chest and she dropped off to sleep, the dreams coming fast as she nodded in her chair.
She is sitting in a hospital bed holding the son they thought they would never have. He is so perfect - his little fingers, toes and that curly black hair on his beautiful head.
She is sitting in the nursery as the sun rises, feeding her baby as he innocently gazes into her eyes. She is so overwhelmed with love for this child that she feels that familiar stab of pain in her heart. His innocence and total dependence binds her heart with love. At this moment she would sacrifice her life for this child. She thinks of the dreams she has for him as she watches him suckle at her breast.
Now she holds out her arms for her precious boy as he takes his first steps, giggling as he realizes that he has achieved mobility. He has been practising on the furniture and in his crib for a few weeks, but finally today he has stepped out on his own with no support. His first steps towards independence.
Now he is walking towards his first day of school, turning to wave bye bye as their entwined fingers slip apart. She sees the anticipation in his eyes as he continues to wave and walk towards the teacher and his new classroom.
Now she sees him at the front of the church as his bride walks down the aisle towards her groom - ready to take their marriage vows. He is stepping into a new life - a life where he will not need her in the same way. Soon he will be a husband and his needs will change. His wife will fulfill his needs now. There will be no more moments at the kitchen table when they shared ginger cookies and hot cocoa while they talked of their activities that day.
Now she holds another baby - this one her first grandchild. Sophie - the girl she never had. This baby grips her finger in her tiny hand so tightly - she feels the stirrings in her heart as it expands with love for this precious child.
She suddenly wakes, tears trickle down her cheeks, she feels the crushing pressure of loneliness as she realizes she was only dreaming of the life left behind - the life that no longer needs her and the realization that - she really is alone.