Abigail sat in her wheelchair with a knitted afghan smoothed over her lap. She turned her head. The movement wasn’t nearly as smooth as it used to be.
She looked at the long gauzy curtains. They were butter yellow, even on the grayest of days. Always like a bit of sunshine in her room. She liked that.
She wanted to move closer to the window, but this was not a good day for her. Her arms were too tired to make the necessary movements to inch the wheelchair forward. The nurse’s call button sat alongside her leg. Abigail could have pressed it to have the nurse move her, but no. She chose to stay put.
The curtains were like sunshine. Abigail still remembered sunshine. The warmth of it. The wind-chime feel and sound of it in spring. The melted ice cream taste of it in summer. The crunchy dry leaf sound of it in fall. The gravestone grit of it in winter. But the gravestone always gave way to the wind-chimes. It was something that was always. It would forever be.
She closed her eyes and remembered barefoot running to the running waves. Coarse! Hot! Ahh, cold! She smiled at the splashing cold. Squeals and shrieks of laughter. Laughter that lived always in her mind. Laughter that existed in her memories.
Memories of sunshine.
Memories of cotton candy and flying! Flying on a swing. Bubble gum pops. Cotton candy fuzz. Badly made braids. Tank tops and sandals. Roughed up knees and riding a bike. Pedals moving under her feet. Remembering how they felt under her feet. Metal. Remembering the motion. Rolling constant motion. Not walking. Not running. Legs rising. Legs falling. And it tasted like chocolate ice cream melting on her hand. Waffle cone getting saturated. Waffle cone going soft.
Always going so soft.
It whirred. The pedals whirred and the spokes twirled. Chains clanked. Brakes stopped. And it was summertime inside her mind.
Ice cream and fireworks. Holding someone’s hand. Sharing someone’s memory. Being a part of someone’s memory. Being a part of someone’s life story. They met. They fell in love. They married. Rice and cake and confetti. Buttercream frosting. So sweet and tangy. The cake, delicate and spongy. They married for so many summers and springs and winters and falls and back to springs. Oh, with him it always returned to spring!
Until winter came on ravened wings.
Her bedroom door opened. “Abigail sweetie?” The nurse. Not him. Not him ever. Only in her dreams and memories did he come and it returned to spring. “Your daughter is here to see you. Are you up for visitors today? Hmm?”
She opened her eyes.
The curtains were the color of sunshine and spring and summer.
She could almost taste the chocolate ice cream and hear the fireworks’ pop and sizzle. “Yes.”
Her daughter entered the room. “Mom?”
Abigail smiled as spring arrived again.