Yet, the words came out of my mouth and I meant every syllable.
She looked at me with anger in her eyes. More anger than I had ever seen from her before.
Anger at the situation, that had left both of us with broken hearts.
She closed her eyes for a moment, took in a deep breath and said, “You have got to accept that sometimes life does not turn out like you want. You may not end up in life with the person you thought you would. That we spend a lifetime with wounds that will never heal. And you also have to accept that I am leaving.”
I repeated my previous challenge, except this time I added, “You are running away. Running away from me, and I desperately love you, need you and want you to stay…with me.”
Her eyes had a distant look and she said, almost in a whisper, “I am already gone.”
With very little time left, I took her hand, and held it, one that I had held so many times before, and whispered back to her, “If you truly are leaving me, then let me sit here…with you…just a little while longer. And then I’ll go.”
After a few moments I quietly closed the door to her room, thanked the nurses on my way out and waited for the call, telling me with a somber voice on the other end, that the woman I loved…was gone.
Even over the course of nine years battling various cancers, and even now, nine years since then, it still seemed so sudden, so surprising.
But then, mothers have a way of surprising their sons, even when leaving.