MANOR HILLS SANITARIUM - ANDERSONVILLE, IL
Davis?" Dr. Maynard said as he pushed the door open and knocked.
"You have a visitor. You're daughter is here to see you."
Grace stood in the hallway and turned from
the open door to look at Trevor with fear in her eyes.
"Go on. You can do
it." Trevor nodded slightly and then smiled. It was the shove
that she needed.
Grace stepped cautiously into the hospital
room and had to hold back a gasp as she saw her mother for the first time in
years. She was not at all what she'd expected.
"I think we need to leave them
alone," Dr. Maynard muttered to Trevor as he stepped back out of the room
and quietly shut the door.
Louise Davis was sitting in a rocking chair
by the large bay window and facing the setting sun; however, she was
looking at nothing in particular. Her dark hair, once so shiny and
vibrant, was now dull and lifeless and streaked with clumps of gray. She
rocked back and forth almost rhythmically and gave no indication that she even
knew Grace was there.
"M-momma?" Grace muttered
cautiously as she eased further into the room. "Momma, it's
me. It's Grace."
No answer came.
"I-I know it's been a long time.
I know I should have come to see you sooner, but I couldn't." Her
voice shook slightly even though she tried to hide her fears. She moved
even closer to her mother and stood next to her as the sun streamed in its
warming rays. "M-momma?"
Louise slowly turned to face Grace, but her
eyes were vacant and soulless. She seemed to be searching Grace's face for
some clue...some hint of a memory. However, she found none. Silently
she turned to again stare out the window.
"Momma, it's me! It's
Grace!" She knelt down beside the rocking chair and grabbed on to her
hand and pulled it close to her chest. "I'm your daughter!"
Still no response.
"I-I'm sorry! I'm sorry I didn't
come sooner!" Grace tried to hold back her tears, but they began to
flow uncontrollably and quickly streaked her face. "I-I was so
scared. I...I...I'm sorry."
Louise turned to look at her again.
She seemed to be touched by Grace's display of emotions, but said nothing.
Her hand remained pressed against Grace's heart as she continued to rock.
"Oh, Momma, please say
something! Please tell me you know who I am!"
Not a word.
"Oh, Momma," Grace sobbed as she
lowered her head to rest on the arm of the rocker. "I-I'm
sorry. I'm sorry for not coming to see you. I'm sorry for trying to
forget about you. Oh, Momma, I still love you."
Silently, Louise pulled her hand away and
gently began to stroke Grace's hair.