Slipping By
Liam, Age 11, Victoria, BC

Sitting in a chair by the bed she lay in, watching the heart monitor beep slowly and repetitively. Each time seems like a step closer to a cliff and every day that passes, it seems as if it took only a moment. Her sickness grows. Her room is by the old railway, and she wakes at the strangest hours because, supposedly, a train that hasn’t been running for 13 years is passing by during the night.

Stopping by the hospital when time is available, she tells me that when and if she gets better, I should take her on the train. Agreeing to so, and as I turn towards the door, she asks, “Do you really think I’ll live through this? You know, being able to ride the train once more?” A nod appears, followed by a sad smile as I turn to the door.

The third day without a visit, a letter arrived in the mail..

“Dear Mr. Norwood,

Unfortunate news has occurred. You sister passed in the night. It happened peacefully in her sleep. I am truly sorry. We did everything we could.

Dr. F. Roland

Paralysed, falling to the floor and thinking, “Just one stop over the cliff. She slipped right out of my hands.”

Thirteen years have passed and I see two familiar faces when peering out the hospital window watching a passing train. The girl waves and the gentleman is watching my facial expression. Astonished and reminded of the little sister who passed in the hospital, and her brother who took his life to accompany her.

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