Your voice had been replaced by the sounds of sterile equipment - equipment that was now required to do the work that you could no longer do for yourself. The room was filled by the melodic sound of the pumping valves forcing oxygen into your lungs. Despite this, your strength was evident. It was 18 years ago that we lost you, yet it still feels like it was yesterday.
I remember you were frustrated, hurting- you made that clear when you scribbled that note to me “get my Swiss Army knife” then you motioned cutting the tubes and wires.
I suspect you had already gotten a glimpse of the kingdom and you were ok with letting go of this life. It was us who wouldn’t… or rather couldn't give up hope. Already you had fought a valiant fight, one that left even your physicians in awe.
You continued your fight, I’m sure for our sake- we needed you. And though you could no longer use your voice to speak, your eyes communicated that you understood.
You kept this pace for weeks- patiently you waited for us to arrive at a place of acceptance. Even your doctor had discerned the man you were and he fought tirelessly to keep you here, I think deep down he needed you to live, he needed to know you. However it was time for God’s will to be done.
I held your hand as the machines were turned off. The final stronghold that kept you tethered physically to this life. You held your own briefly. But your soul had been greeted and the angels had lovingly lifted your exhausted body. Their presence was felt as they gracefully carried you to be with our Father, your suffering now a distant memory. Your gentle spirit freed from the pain.
Your final breath took my breath away.
You are missed, deeply, and I am confident that you know this. But your legacy is alive and well. I now understand the hours you spent writing. The feeling cannot be described, only acted upon. The profound urge to capture in words what the soul feels cannot be ignored.
I am dependant upon images to fully capture and convey what is within me, I suspect you were too.
The lessons you taught, the examples you set, your gentle spirit and kindness have left an indelible mark on my heart. It’s as though you personally scribed “I was here” on my soul. Thank you.
Until we meet again, I will look for you in the words that I write, the images that I capture and in the faces of my children.
I love you,