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beth writing 30 days without

FIC: His Mother's Hands (1/1)

Title: His Mother’s Hands
Author: maddie_amber
Genre: Gen. Angst.
Rating: PG
Spoilers and Warninigs:  None
Character:  John Sheppard
Disclaimer:  The characters and setting of Atlantis belong to MGM.  I’m just borrowing them.  No infringement intended.  
Prompt:  Okay, I decided to take the plunge and try one of these five minute challenges. The Prompt was “Sorrow” and I actually did write for only five minutes, but it took took 50+ minutes to edit.  This was not beta’ed so any mistakes can only be blamed on me. 
Author’s Notes:  This was written very early in the first season of Stargate Atlantis before we knew much of John Sheppard’s back story.  Hell, we still don’t know that much after five years, but I made assumptions about his father that have been proven incorrect. 

His Mother’s Hands


His Mother’s Hands

By, maddie_amber

John Sheppard preferred not to think of the last time he saw Mother alive. Her last coherent words to him had been, “I’ve had a good life.” She had squeezed his hand with remarkable strength, smiled her loving smile, and closed her eyes, never to open them again. He sat by her bedside all day and long into the night, holding the frail hand that had so often held his. Hands that had gently guiding him through life’s little upsets, teaching, and scolding when he needed it. Hands that had shaken uncontrollably when father died and again the first time he told her he was heading off to war. She had shown no other emotion, but had taken his face in those trembling hands and gently kissed his forehead, a silent blessing.

Sitting by her bedside, as she lay against the stark bleached white of hospital sheets, he stroked her hand aimlessly; watching as the color slowly drained from her face until she was as pale as the sheets and she had slipped into the final deep sleep that would preclude death. Time had slowed to a surrealistic mockery of life and he wished he could tell her one more time how much he loved her and how great a void her passing would leave in his life. Visitors had come and gone that last day, expressing their affection for her and their sadness at her failing health. He wasn’t even sure who most of them were. It was like the wake before the funeral, the mourning before the death.

He remembered feeling strangely calm, not angry as he had when he had first learned of her illness. Cancer had been the doctors’ diagnosis. They had been cautiously optimistic that a combination of surgery and chemotherapy might beat the disease. And Mother had never lost her confidence in their abilities or her belief that she could conquer the cancer that was slowly consuming her. As she lay dying, she looked oddly at peace. She had looked that way for the past two months. Ever since she realized there was no hope. She had come to that realization long before the doctors were ready to concede defeat. Wearing serenity like a veil of mystery, she had endured her pain without complaint. She was his strength when he had none, his hope when all hope was gone. Her sublime peace, so contrasted with the turmoil of is own life, that he wondered, if perhaps, she knew something he did not.

He had spent as much time with her as he could, delaying his overseas assignment as long as necessary. The last time he saw mother alive, she silently gave him her blessing and her love. He shipped to Afghanistan the day after the funeral.