The Last Word

I awoke from a restless slumber. The clock on the nightstand said 3 am. I lay there in the darkness for a few minutes, unable to go back to sleep, so I kicked off the covers, slipped my feet into my slippers and padded my way through the dark house. My two sleepy Chihuahuas sat up, yawning and wondered what all the fuss was about. Reluctantly they stretched, jumped off the bed and fell in step behind me as we proceeded down the hallway. By intuition my feet led me quite naturally to the kitchen and slid their way in silence across the tiled floor to stop directly in front of the grand, double door refrigerator. I placed my hand upon the handle, out of habit and without even a second thought, the door was open and light flooded the darkened room. If there had been a chorus of angels in the vicinity they would have belted out a note in unison at that precise moment. I stood there, blinking the sleep from my eyes and stared vacantly at the wealth of food stored within. Taking a breath, and then heaving a sigh, I stepped back and closed the door. I turned and headed into the living room, where I slid the glass patio door open, stepped out onto the deck and into the chilly night air. I wrapped my arms around myself and looked up into the sky. The dogs poked their heads out and decided to scamper back to the warmth of the bed. Above me a blanket of stars twinkled brilliantly and the moon bathed my yard in a ghostly, silver glow.
I sat down on the porch swing and enjoyed the pleasant silence. I had been dreaming about my mother again. There were melancholy days when I missed her so much that it was hard to function. I sat and recalled sitting beside her, holding her frail hand as she struggled to take her final breath. She had, without a doubt, been my closest and dearest friend, constant cheerleader and my harshest critic. My mom had suffered right along with me during my food addiction. I am sure it broke her heart to see me reach the 500 pound mark. She was there when I hit my rock bottom and thankfully lived to see me scratch and crawl my way out of that bottomless hole, offering me tough love and encouragement the whole way. I remember finding a little pink pig on my kitchen windowsill one day after she had left my home. Hanging around its’ neck was a little sign that stated quite simply “No More Pigging Out”. I did not speak to her for ten days after finding that little pig. I smiled to myself and stood up, deciding that a ham sandwich might just help me erase the sad memories and go back to sleep. I stepped back into the warm house and made my way to the kitchen. I pulled an armload of goodies out of the refrigerator and placed the pile of food on the counter next to the kitchen sink. As I turned on the faucet to wash my hands, I noticed a peculiar little pig staring at me. It had sat there on the window sill for the better part of a year and had gone unnoticed until today…right this very minute. I studied the little figurine for quite some time before looking up and seeing my reflection staring back at me in the kitchen window. I stood there with the water running and thought to myself….”What are you doing? Why would you eat all of this food at 3 in the morning?” I turned off the water and as I loaded the food back into the refrigerator, I glanced at the pig and read out loud, “No More Pigging Out”. With that, I shuffled back to my cozy little bedroom and as I climbed underneath the worn and weathered quilt, I thought to myself…”Well, there you go again mother…always getting the last word!”




  1. Ellen says:

    Mothers are that way… I often hear my Mother’s words in my head, heard only by me. Sometimes I just see her face and her nodding her head or cocking it to one side while she listened to me. The best times are when I remember the tinkle sound of her tiny laugh or how her belly would begin to bounce with just that little sound being emitted. I remember a wink that she used to give me when I was a little girl and I wonder when did Mom stop winking?! I missed that wink! I wonder why was she not a hugger or an “I love you” person when clearly she loved all of us as much as any Mother ever did. She taught me how to be and how not to be. She was my role model for both. Gone now for 3 years and I still call upon her when I need someone – that type of someone that a Mom can only fulfill.

    Alana, I loved your “The Last Word” – it made me remember my own special memories, chides and life events with my Mom.

  2. Jeannette says:

    Alana, this story brought tears to my eyes just reading it. I also miss my mom that way…. Good for you for still reading her messages and for ‘letting’ her get the last word in…. 😉

  3. Gayle says:

    Alana, I love your writing, but especially this one. I can relate so much to the open refrigerator in the middle of the night, and I still hear my mom’s voice a lot even though she has been gone almost 13 years. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Diana Garcia says:

    Thank you for that beautiful story! It put a smile on my face because I can so relate! Mom has always been on me about my weight…and I’m age 44 already lol! She can stop now!! 🙂

  5. Ramona Wood says:

    Love this story!!! Your Mom sounds like a very special person! A lot of us can relate here ….
    Love the pig!
    Beautiful writing! Once again…it feels like I could almost see it happening in my mind!

Leave a Reply