One Thousand Paper Cranes

One Thousand Paper Cranes

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One Thousand Paper Cranes

Walking toward his mother's bedroom, Mark slowed his pace. His heart ached and felt heavy. His mother's illness hung over him like a shroud, turning his life black. She had cancer in her lungs and he didn't know why and who to blame. She didn't smoke, so why did it have to happen to her. He questioned. He stopped at the door, gathering his thoughts. What would he say to his mother?. He took a deep breath, gathered his strength, and opened the door quietly.

"Mom, how are you today? I'm sorry I haven't come to see you for a while." Mark said as he smiled at her trying to be cheerful. "Mom, I have a surprise for you today. I'm sure you will love it." He held his surprise behind his back with his right hand, but was so excited that he couldn't hide his feelings. He imagined her smiling as he revealed his gift.

Maggie lay in her bed , lost in thought, and showed little interest.

"Mark, is that you? Come close to me." She glanced at her son and tried to move her body to sit up, but she couldn't. She took a deep sigh and said, "I'm sorry, Mark. I don't feel good today."

She knew she was dying. She suffered from lung cancer for a year. She had two painful operations in the last couple of months that had drained all of her strength. She was getting weaker and weaker. Now she stayed in bed all day, reading, watching TV, seeing occasional visitors, and remembering her life. She found momentary relief with her visitors, but always she would quickly tire and have to sleep. She smelled death around her. An independent woman all of her life, she wanted to take care of herself, but she was too weak to do so. Her body was dying daily, but her mind remained clear so she started writing her journal. She a...


... middle of paper ...


...cranes and wonder at the folding. I will treasure senbazulu for years. Thank your Japanese friend for me."

Mark had forgotten about the thousand cranes since his last visit. That was a wonderful gift for her. He didn't really believe its myth, but he wondered now that maybe it could be true.

Summer was over. Four months passed since he had a family reunion at his hometown. He sat on his mother's empty bed in the dimly lit room and looked at the cranes hanging on the wall. His mother had died. He read her last letter to him. For a moment, a cool fall breeze fanned into the room through the slightly opened window. He could hear his grandfather's old clock across the room ticking loudly. He thought that one of the cranes smiled down at him, broke free and flew in the sky.

He cried as he watched it fade into the horizon. "Take care of my mom," he whispered.

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