Marching on

SeasonsThe woman’s voice was urgent. “Your mother’s levels are too high and she needs shots to prevent blood clots. I’ve ordered the medication already.”

Jenny’s phone felt like a brick in her hand. She didn’t understand most of the words the woman spoke. Medical terms that meant little.

But what landed was the next instruction. “You’ll give her injections every day for two weeks and then we’ll test her blood again. When can you pick up the prescription?”

Injections? Blood tests? She would give the injections?

“We need to get this started today.” The woman on the phone added some instructions for the injections. Jenny’s mind caught half of the instructions because injections kept ricocheting in her brain.

“Call me if you have any questions,” the woman said. And then she was gone and Jenny had only the ricochets to deal with.

Two hours later, Jenny held the package of syringes in her hands. She pulled one out, an odd little  combo with a spring in the middle of the syringe.

“I am supposed to inject this right into your tummy,” Jenny said. Her mother studied the apparatus.

“Well, let’s get it done, then.”

Tears prickled in Jenny’s eyes. Her mother lay on the bed, her stomach exposed. Her skin was soft and thin around her belly button.

“I’m so sorry. I don’t want to do this.”

“Oh, you’ll do fine. Just go.”

Jenny’s arm seemed heavy. She took a deep breath. Fourteen of these to give her mother?

She pressed the needle against skin and the syringe seemed to gain a life of its own, injecting and popping away in an instant.

“All right,” her mother said. “Got that done for today. Let’s go get some dinner started.”

“I’m so sorry, Mom.”

“Well, you do what you have to do.”

As Jenny helped her mother to the kitchen, she knew that that’s exactly what they had just done. But that didn’t make it easy.

They marched on.

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