Friday, August 21, 2015
Recently, on a lovely summer day I dropped in on an old friend I had not seen for years. We had been estranged somewhat when we parted; not because we did not care but life-stuff had gotten in the way. However, her essence many times had brought her to mind with a warm heart.
This particular afternoon, I am passing through a town I had heard she lived in a few years ago. Not being sure if she still did, I ask a woman walking down the street if she knows her. Following her directions, I find her house. Two care-givers meet me at the door. As soon as I enter her room, I know. We look at each other and understanding cascades between us. Then we hug, the old hug. Yet this time I hold bone. Neither of us is letting go. Breaking from the hug, she looks at me with a strength, a stillness, saying, "I am dying."
"I know, I can see and feel it." Then she asks how I found out and who told me. As I hadn't visited her for the last decade, she is sure someone has. I reply, "No one." A little smile touches her lips. She understands.
"Then, your coming is an answer to my prayer." And, I understand.
"I am glad." I reply softly.
We catch up on our lives and families. She does not want to leave her grand children. For periods of time, we just sit and look at each other. She is too weak to talk. Yet, her eyes at moments are alive with the twinkle I remember. I ask if she recalls how dense I was when developing my "inner-seeing" those many years ago while walking along the railroad tracks, in front of her home. Knowing she was always better at it than me, she giggles a little giggle that is so uniquely hers. After another story from our past, she looks at me gently and states, "It is still here, our caring."
I nod, "Yes, isn't essence always essence."
Looking at my watch, it is well-past time to go. She insists on seeing me to the door which costs considerable effort to her helpers as she is beyond the wheel-chair stage. Walking in front of her, I wonder what I will say and in that moment, know she is waiting for me to say, something. As the screen door is closing behind me, I turn. There she sits. Some moments in life hold no words. Then, I bend toward her in a slight bow, "My friend, I will see you again in a better world." Later, I wished I had said, "Thank You..."
photo source: Lisa Teryl