I have so much to write about. My travels in Tennessee and New Orleans. The Open Door sale and Christmas party with the Portland Art Collective. The fairy tale snow in Boise, just in time for the holidays. The difficulty in laying down the reins of a project five years in the making overcome by the recession and adjusting to the reality of a new job and a new way of life. All crammed into a span of three months time.
But all has been overwhelmed by my need to say goodbye to a man I have loved and hated and loved again in friendship. With whom I shared a love of the outdoors, a need to explore, and a life that spanned moves through four different states. We didn't always see eye to eye. Our lifestyles were wildly divergent. We had our difficult times. But what it comes down to is the love we share for our son and a need to acknowledge that no matter what has passed between us, we did share something special over the years and our shared time together is rapidly coming to an end.
I did not recognize him, lying in his hospice bed. I know of few diseases as cruel as cancer, that robs people of their appearance, their bearing and mean. He had lost over a hundred pounds and aged 20 years in the span of a few months. He is in a great deal of pain. And yet, he smiles...and jokes...and remembers.
We reminisce together...each savoring a favorite moment in our lives. The birth of our son, when he turned white with fear after learning he had to sit at my side during a C-section, afraid he would faint at the sight of blood. Our adventures (and sometimes misadventures) in Montana where the weather changed every 15 minutes and we put away five cords of wood by ourselves to heat our cozy log home. Our camping trips, fraught with calamity and the inevitable loss of one item of gear...how does one lose a TV remote on a camping trip? The many memories of our son as he grew to adulthood. The good times we shared with mutual friends. We went back to our happy times and agreed that had we stayed there, all would have worked out well in the end.
Too soon, it was time to leave him and return home. To say a last goodbye, share a last "I love you" and one last hug. Only death can show you how trivial the troubles of the still living can be. How important it is to stay connected in life. The need to communicate your gratitude to others for all you have shared with them in life and let them know how they have touched your soul. To appreciate how blessed you are to share your life with others.
Thank you, my dear, for the memories. I will keep them safe in my soul and cherish the life we shared together.