Prompt response based on the word of the day ~ January 2017 ~ HORN
A Hard Horned Goodbye.
by John Yeo
William was trapped by the horns of a dilemma. Mother was terminally ill and in terrible pain. He was shocked and annoyed: there wasn’t any way out. Mother was enduring slowly progressive levels of pain. The hospital staff were administering the strongest levels of pain-killing drugs that were available. Sadly his Mother was suffering an increasing painful experience as the illness slowly took a hold.
“Why can’t you put her out of her misery? Just administer a drug that will allow her to slowly drift away from life, pain-free.” He begged the Doctors when they arrived to carry out a ward round.
“Sorry Sir this is against the law and against our sworn code of ethics. This would be a contravention of the Hippocratic oath. Euthanasia is strictly illegal.” replied the Consultant.
William just shed tears and ran from the ward, holding a hanky to his nose. A nurse followed him out; “Come back!”
William fled, visibly sobbing; blowing his nose which sounded like a fog horn blasting out a warning on a foggy night.
William rushed out into the hospital road and jumped back quickly as an ambulance driver sounded his horn.
“Look where you are going!” came a shout from the driver.
Jumping in his car William picked up a golden horn that was lying on the back seat and ceremoniously played the Last Post. An accomplished musician he was expressing deep feelings of anger and frustration the only way he could.
Then he pulled himself together and picking up a parcel that he had left on the back seat earlier he returned to the ward, to find his Mother in a deep sleep. Her hair had been neatly combed by one of the nurses. Her personal comb made from horn, that was her pride and joy lay on the bedside table.
His Mother woke shortly after and William unwrapped his parcel which was an ornamental horn, fashioned out of pure elephant ivory. Mothers eyes lit up; even with the pain that was visibly racking through her body. The horned ornament was a small container filled with her favourite sherry. They both looked into each other’s eyes and made new bonds, a silent toast that loosened, yet cemented the life they had shared.
William left the ward with tears in his eyes, knowing he would never see his Mother again.
She just drifted away in the night peacefully, William was glad she had gone naturally and was out if pain at last.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved