“It’s time.” Those words echoed in the deathly silent room, a room bathed in clean, clinical white embellished with novelty art illuminated by piercing shards of sunlight which emanated through the metallic blind. I gripped my mothers hand as the nurse wheeled a mobile bed into the room, positioning it adjacent to mine. They lifted me onto it, the cold sheets felt muted, dulled by the cocktail of pain medication and adrenaline my eight year old body was subject to.
My mother walked along side still firmly gripping my hand as I vacantly stared at the passing lights overhead. I was told that the surgery was high risk, they informed me for the second time in my life that I would never walk again prior to admittance. I led daydreaming of the time I spent being wheeled around town at the age of four. My mum did this to spare me the pain of walking on my fused ankles and ever present pain of spinabifida. I recalled the smooth texture of the wet, reflective paths as the caster wheels of the bed slowly turned. She would often run to see me smile and maneuver me over the bumpy topography of pebbles to hear me hysterically laugh, my voice juddering with every motion of the pram as I gazed up at her laughing along. I looked into her eyes as I asked when I could see her again. She smiled through trembling lips and assured me it wouldn’t be long, that I was going to sleep and that I would not remember a thing. Behind her passed paintings of equal size and of near identical aesthetic. They sported the same modern art vibe one would use to describe the artistic capabilities of a young child. I felt mildly critical of the art until I saw it.
The bed turned another corner, revealing a wall sized piece that now stood beyond my feet as the nurse continued to walk me closer to the double doors at the opposing end. The painting was an amalgamation of broad, vibrant colored strokes entwined with the ominous presence of darkness. The juxtaposing light seemed to breach it as a bright light would pierce a shadow. For the first time, in that one moment of my brief existence, I felt hope. My mums words sent a chill down my spine as the double doors flew open; “good night, God bless…” And with that I felt her hand slip away and saw the now distant painting fade away with the silent swing of the doors.