What Comes Next ...
“What comes next?” she says suddenly.
I peer out the window. Yesterday’s storm blew down all the yellow leaves from Bea's maple, the one she planted thirty-five years ago. They still thrash around the side yard, ducking back and forth, harbingers of the cold winter to come. Being an optimistic type of girl, Bea’s favorite season has always been spring. Spring 2007 seems a long way off. I cannot imagine her living that long, but who knows? My mother has defied all predictions.
“What comes next?” she repeats.
“What do you mean?” I ask, not convinced we are about to engage in a philosophical discussion.
I know Bea’s vision of death is not of much comfort to one who knows her final days are near: end of life, obliteration, nothingness.
“We will remember you so fondly when you are not here anymore,” I tell her.
This comment produces a thin smile.
“You had a good life, didn’t you?”
Bea nods. We sit there in silence for a while.
“What comes next?” she asks again.
I take the plunge: “You mean, like a meal?”
Bea nods. I fetch half a banana.