By Brianna Hotchkiss
Spring had begun. Rivers were flooding, flowers were blooming, and wildlife had begun to awaken from a long dream. The season had much beauty, and the long-awaited return of the hummingbirds was inevitable.
She had been anticipating this season for some time now and was ready at the first site of the ice melting over the river, filling her feeders with sweetened water and watching, always watching, for the hummingbirds to return. Each long day passed, and each day she observed the hummingbirds visiting for a sweet drink. It was a welcome source of joy in her sad reality, and a way to escape from the emotions that flooded her each time she looked in the mirror.
It had been many months of treatments and hospitals. Months that could be only described as a roller coaster, getting a little better and then much worse, fluctuations in energy and mindsets, and worst of all, the waiting. Waiting to get better, waiting for results, waiting for news. Always waiting. She wondered, as she observed the birds, if she would ever be finished waiting.
In the end she knew what it would come down to, had known for some time now. The thought of leaving those she loved behind was too much to bear, but it may very well come down to that. Her peace would need to be made with the idea, no matter how painful. One day she sat, writing letters to her dearest, watching the hummingbirds, trying to put her intense feelings on paper. The task seemed impossible, yet once she began to write, the words flowed out of her, and in the end, she was satisfied.
A quick visit to the emergency department and she was in a room. A room all to herself, though never lonely, and constantly surrounded by love. Each day she lost something new. A movement, a memory, a function. She was slowing slipping away but felt her emotions stronger than ever. And always observing. Watched her dearest attempting strength, a comforting observation, it meant they would be strong when needed.
Slowly she was slipping. Eventually unable to observe visually but maintaining her other senses. And a sixth sense, she hadn’t expected to find. Unable to name it, but able to feel its intensity and the knowledge it gave her. Able to understand that she was nearing the end. Feeling a kind of peace she never thought possible. And finally, when she was given the decision to let go, she took it. She left the world with no regrets, no sadness, no worries.
And, thousands of miles away, a young hummingbird took flight for the first time.
Brianna Hotchkiss is a recent graduate from a bachelor of science in nursing program and I enjoy writing as a hobby.