Lisa Fox’s story “A Time for Understanding” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 November 2019.
This story is a deeply personal one. I originally wrote this as a 1,000 word flash fiction piece four days before my mother died. She’d been in the hospital for weeks, declining steadily, though we had no idea why. Her last days were spent on a bi-pap breathing machine – the mask was basically keeping her alive – and I never really got the chance to talk to her about what she wanted, I never really got to say goodbye. The decision to take her off the machine was mine to make.
The “what if” here for me was this: what if we actually have the chance to say goodbye to our loved ones, under impossible circumstances? What would we talk about? What would we do?
In writing this piece, I thought about my mom and what we went through with her. I also thought about my real-life Cody – my first furbaby – and what it would have been like to be able to say goodbye to him at the end. And the idea was born.
It’s so funny how life works. It took me a long time to get this story just right, to come to terms with my main character’s journey and what I was really trying to say. And as I was in the final stages of editing the piece with Metaphorosis, my father passed away. It was very different than what I went through with my mom, and honestly the type of passing my MC had hoped for with her own dad. Oddly enough, I thought about my MC and her lack of closure with her father when I made the decision to let my two boys into the hospital to see my dad one last time. Our own lives often give birth to our fiction, yet sometimes our fiction serves to teach us lessons we didn’t know we needed.
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