“Real or not real?” The lead characters in The Hunger Games resort to asking each other this as they try to sort out what really happened and what was poison-induced hallucination.

“Real or not real?” I ask myself as I sit in the intensive care waiting room while our youngest undergoes a procedure. We spent hours and days there twelve years ago with our oldest. Memories are thick and my emotions raw as I remember and think, “How can we be here again?”

“Real or not real?” My oldest son choosing between anesthesia through a mask and through an i.v. He’s never had anything before, but he’s having surgery and I can’t believe I am watching a third child go under.

“Real or not real?” Reaching back into old dusty memories and trying to make sense of how they combined to form the woman I am now. The colors have faded and the details have blurred, and when I talk with family who were there too, their memories aren’t the same.

“Real or not real?” Watching people I love hurt people I love. Wondering why and how we got there and what to do to be a catalyst for healing. And will healing require radical amputation?


On Fridays, we write for fun, unedited, and for only five minutes. Today’s prompt was Real. Visit The Gypsy Mama to join in or read more posts.

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