When I was little, I found comfort and contentment when I slept next to my mother, her arm around my waist, her light snores in my ear. When I was little, in my mom's bed, the monsters became defunct, the spider's long legs curtailed to the corner, and the darkness didn't seem so dark anymore. I might have just embellished, or even imagined, my nightmares going away, but what I did know was that everything became better when I was with my mother...when I was little. 20 years later, I'm lying next to my mother, but the situation has changed. I feel uncomfortable and tentative. I am unable to close my eyes. The sun never comes up and the minute hand on the clock never budges. Instead, I stare at the darkness, my hand gently caressing my mother's arm. I hear silence, and every few seconds, I get up to look at her. I listen carefully. I make sure I can still hear her soft, diminutive breaths. I make sure she's still alive.