Emptiness

By Laura Edwards

We started tonight around the table at my parents’ house. Dad picked up takeout from our favorite Italian restaurant. Mom made a fresh salad and baked brownies. But for the faraway look in my sister’s eyes, we could have been any other family sharing a meal on a weekday.

But we never made it to dessert.

Batten disease steals everything, especially the things you love. My sister loves music and her family. Our presence tonight and soft music playing on speakers in my parents’ kitchen proved to be too much for her system to handle.

That’s why, before we ever made it to Mom’s brownies, we found ourselves huddled around Taylor on the floor as she suffered a series of seizures. As I watched Mom and my husband and brother cradle my sister and attempt to calm her down, I recalled a long-ago day that we all held each other on the floor of my parents’ bedroom upstairs, struggling to understand the news we’d just received.

Our lives would never be the same.



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