Gram lifted her eyes to meet Robin’s and the sadness in them burst Robin’s bubble of enthusiasm. She cocked her head, and whispered, “What is it? Tell me.”
Still holding one of Aileen’s hands in both of her own, Gram began, “Nothing is certain,” she sighed, “but they want us to know that they are not hopeful. Aileen’s condition has not improved at all, even after they put in the shunt to relieve the pressure. They said that they almost lost her twice during the procedure.”
“But she could wake up, right?” Robin asked.
“She could,” Gram conceded. “We’ll just have to be patient and hope for the best.”
Robin moved to the other side of the bed and lifted Aileen’s hand gently. “Mom listen to me. You have to wake up. You’re going to be safe and happy and we’re going to make up for all those wasted years. Just think about that and come back to us, please!”
They passed the last few minutes of the hour in silence. Aileen lay still except for the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest in sync with the hiss of the ventilator. Robin’s gaze remained fixed on Aileen, watching for the slightest voluntary movement, the flicker of an eyelid or the flare of a nostril. “Please, Mom,” Robin pled silently. “Let me know that you heard me.”
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