our last walk …

our last walk¬†…

* a non-fiction story

I am often caught by surprise with memories of you. It is if at times I can hear your voice, the tone in which you spoke … you had this very specific intonation in your voice when you said “hello Christina” … I can close my eyes and truly hear you.

I consider myself to be very blessed when it comes to you … spending a week with you in California was a treasure in so many ways. I got to hear your stories. I got to help you through some sadness. I got to care for you and I got to truly experience the vulnerability of life. We shared and talked a lot about love, death, fear, joy, after life, raising children … little did I know that you would be gone just two months later.

theresa

On our last walk together you told me that you wanted to die quickly. Finally, one cancer laced wish came true for you.

Our last walk … I often think of that walk. We walked and walked. I was dumbfounded that I was essentially saying goodbye to you. It was so sudden. This was not the same body or person that I left in California . You knew it was coming, your body was shutting down. And all of a sudden we were talking about the fact that you were dying. We quickly moved onto talking about your legacy … what did you want to leave for your girls. You told me what you wanted to do for them. I am still building up the courage to take this project on …

Then before I knew it, I got an email asking me to spend the night with you in the hospital. I quickly learned that you would not be going home and that your calling was right around the corner.

When your girls left you that night my heart broke for them … they hugged you, you woke just enough to hug them back and tell them that you loved them … they left the hospital room in a haze of sadness.

This time in the hospital room with you was surreal … I folded down the chair and pushed it next to your bed. I laid beside you, I held your hand, I listened to your mis mash of music and watched your chest rise and fall through the night. You woke, you spoke to me, you spoke of your girls, you thanked me. You were so worried for your girls …

I had moments of deep sadness and what felt at times like madness. I wanted to shake you awake, I wanted our prayers to come true … none of this was about to happen, you were leaving us. You were going to stop suffering. You were on the verge of exploring the next chapter.

What I see so clearly now, is that before you were to leave you were going to put some people in place to help your family. You succeeded. I am certain that you are here with us at times … I can feel you thanking me for being there for your family … I can feel you tapping my shoulder, reminding me to reach out.

I can say that it hasn’t been easy for them … they miss you and they need you … And not one of us caring mothers can step in and fill the void or take away the pain. This is unchartered territory for all of us and all we can do is be here for them. ACTUALLY be here which I know, is all that you would ask for.

Thank you for sharing your life stories and love with me …

xo

– Life is so fragile. We so often just walk through life and naturally take everything for granted. It is time to look people in the eye, share our love, lend a hand, and do more than is ‘expected’.