I see your smile, wide, full of hope, joy-filled lines and crinkled nose. Good days, playing games, planning parties, celebrating life with family and friends.
I see the sunny moments, outdoor picnics, ice-cream sundaes, trash talking and laughing, nonchalantly swatting your cat away from your legs as he returns again and again.
I see you sleeping, shallow breathes, pale skin, short funky hair. You still look good. Like Snow White in her peaceful slumber amidst the colorful pillows and hand knit blankets.
I see your warrior spirit, as the IV starts again and again. And you brace for the second, third, fourth blood transfusion. Too many to count.
I see your bruises, and access port, swollen ankles, extended abdomen, and tired eyes. Artificial lights, sterile rooms. How long before this is over? How long can you hang on?
I see your friends, and family. Wondering, how can we bear this loss? How can we capture one more moment? Without the suffering, without the pain.
I hear your voice for the last time. Nonsensical words, yet you remember my name. You remember you love me and I you.
I hear the story, of your last moments. Calling the shots right to the end. “It’s not time yet” and then finally it is time. And you release your soul into the arms of God.
I hear your messages. On my answering machine. In my cell phone. In my thoughts. Never to be erased. Your laughing voice, your gentle spirit.
I feel the loss. Empty evenings, the ache for silly conversations. The luxury of debating trifles. Truant tears. Sorrow too deep to surface. I know it will, someday.
I know this hidden sadness would bring you pain. Your grief was on your sleeve, lovely and open. Mine is stifled, but will rise. With each memory. Each reminder. Of better days past, and promised days to come.
“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.