I know I’m supposed to be listening harder.
I know I am supposed to be concentrating more.
Look at her.
It will help if you look at her.
I think this is important.
But my eyes wander.
Just a little. Not too much.
I wouldn’t want to appear like anything but a mother who is paying 120% attention.
Because that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. That is who I’m supposed to be.
There are a lot of cupboards in this room.
They are grey.
Up high and down low.
Cupboards full of information I guess.
Information for me?
Ok. Look at her again.
She is trying to help you.
There are labels on these cupboards.
They are made from a label maker.
I had one of those when I was 12.
Mine was blue. I loved that thing. I put labels on nearly everything I owned.
Crisp white stick-on strips with black neat capital lettering.
Why does it say Palliative Care?
Where am I?
Something is wrong.
These cupboards are mislabeled.
I’m in a Children’s Hospital.
These are mislabeled.
It’s the Children’s Hospital.
I am in the Children’s Hospital.
He is in the Children’s Hospital.
There has been a mistake.
I want to glance at it again. Maybe I misread.
But I have to concentrate on her and what she is saying.
And of course I know.
I know I didn’t make a mistake.
I still see it.
So many years later.
The label-maker label.
White Strip. Black letters.