The girls had chores to do. I asked Alana to clean the bathroom: wipe the mirrors and countertops and sweep the floors. Alana headed down the hallway to get to work.
Mia sat on the couch beside me. I leaned in close to her. “Would you clean your room, please?” I asked.
“Okay. I like to tidy up.” She said.
Alana walked back into the living, “The light flickered.” She said.
She stood still with a spooked look on her face. “I think something’s in there.”
“There’s no ghost.” I told her, “The light has been doing that lately.”
Mia walked over to Alana.
“Are you going back there?” Alana asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be your neighbor.” Mia said and pointed to their room across the hall.
The two sisters walked down the hallway together. And I thought, I hope they continue to walk down life’s hallways together.
After chores, it was time for lunch. I was hungry and couldn’t decide what to eat. So I asked the girls a couple of times what they would like for lunch. They continued to ignore me as they played on their devices. Finally, I stood in front of them and said, “Listen up. I’m hungry. We need to go to lunch. What do you want to eat?”
“I want sandwiches.” Mia said.
“Okay.” I said.
“Wait.” She paused. “This is a democracy. What do you want?” Mia pointed at me.
“I’m fine with sandwiches.”
She then pointed to Alana, “That’s good.” Alana said.
“Okay then.” Mia was satisfied with our democratic selection.
Later on, back at home, Mia and Abe were all over me while we FaceTimed with their uncle. Abe stood next to me as he grabbed at my face and hair. Mia climbed on top of my shoulders weighing me down with her long second grade legs.
With the two of them on top of me, I squeezed them in my arms and said, “I love you all so much.”
I stretched out a hand for Alana who sat at the coffee table drawing.
As I lied there, holding my children, I thought, bury me in babies. I quickly realized how sick that sounded. However, I felt at that moment – my life was complete. I could die being smothered with their love.
There are worse ways to go.