Pascua Florida

“Here, I thought these would brighten up the place a bit.” She placed the bouquet of flowers on the small dresser of the hospice bedroom, turned and smiled at him.

He glanced in her direction, disinterested as alway, then his gaze drifted to the flower and his eyes crinkled. As one hand raised from his lap, his lips formed a word over and over.

“Do you like them?” At least he’s reacting. This is as animated as she’s ever seen him. “Here, I’ll bring you closer.” Stepping behind his wheel chair, she pushed him nearer to the blossoms. “Don’t they smell wonderful?”

She smiled again. He closed his eyes and his head tilted back, as though he had fallen asleep, but he wasn’t asleep. His mouth continued forming the word so she leaned in close to listen.

Not one word, but two. “Pascua Florida.”

“What does it mean?” She turned his chair look him straight in the eye. When his eyes opened, watery, tears dripping down his craggy face. “What is Pascua Florida?”

“No,” he said, waving his arms about, thrashing, knocking the vase and sending it crashing to the floor. It frightened her. “Never again.”