Julie B. Cosgrove
The reflection in the window pane portrayed a fantasy world. But for just a moment, Andrea Ferguson allowed her mind to dwell on it instead of the reality which hovered in her mother’s sick room. The window’s glass mirrored a painting, which had hung over Mom’s bed for years. Bitter sweet memories flooded in as Andrea stared at the serene scene. The artist’s rendition of a spring day showed sunlight glimmering through a tree's chartreuse leaves as it toyed with each translucent vein. A blonde-headed girl lounged against the trunk in a white linen dress, her summer-tanned legs outstretched as she made a wish on a dandelion.
“Did you ever look like that?” Andrea whispered the question which lodged in her heart for years.
As if transposed over the painting, her mother's bed-ridden body now appeared in the windowpane as well. Lying there, waiting. Why, Lord? Why must death come too soon, yet linger on the ledge so long?
Outside a blustery wind mocked what Mattie Ferguson’s lungs could no longer do, in spite of the forced oxygen. Her frail frame shivered. Andrea tiptoed over to pull the bedspread under her mother's chin. She spied a flicker of motherly love and gratitude in the woman's eyes, despite the medicated haze.
Andrea's twin sister, Angela, sidestepped through the door. “It's supposed to get down in the thirties before morning. Where's Momma's quilt?”
“I put it in the cedar chest. Who would have thought in April…”
“You've been in Florida too long. Momma always said…”
“I remember. ‘Wait until May before you put the blankets away.’”
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