Her Great Weight

“A great weight has been lifted,” she said. “I have never felt so happy.”

My mother was sitting up in her hospital bed. Tubes ran into her body from the machines that blinked and beeped. Yesterday the surgeons had removed all of her non-essential insides, all the parts that had made her a woman. The cancer had grown rapidly in her uterus but had not spread into the organs and lymph nodes. She was going to live and I could see that she was truly and deeply happy.

“What do you mean by a great weight lifted, mom?”

“I can live the way I want now. It was never like this before. I have just begun to live.”

She did not stop smiling. Her whole face was smiling. She was ashen and very weak but the new happiness made her glow.

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