(gary and i)
sixteen years ago, today, i awoke early. i still remember the light coming into the bedroom from the den at gary's and linda's house on lake misty. i don't even have to try very hard to conjure up the scent of plumeria, which was the fragrance of the body lotion i'd applied the night before - nor imagine the way the soft yellow, cotton pajamas trimmed with pink gingham ribbon i was wearing felt on my body.
i awoke excited,
(the night before, linda, gary's wife/my beloved sister-in-law, and i had watched 20/20 where there was talk of a new miracle drug for certain types of cancer. as soon as the episode had ended, we, linda right behind me, climbed the stairs to the second floor of the house to tell gary about the drug. we were so confident this was going to be the "it" drug, gary's miracle!
i was elated...
although i thought linda was still in bed asleep, she was not. she came up the stairs and said she'd started the coffee. then she looked at me and commented she couldn't believe gary had slept so well (he'd not slept through the night in months) and she was really happy he had slept well given the big day he was going to have.
since gary was still asleep, i told linda i would drive into town and pick up the groceries we needed. (we'd made a list the night prior and had placed it on gary's night stand.)
as i walked over to pick up the piece of paper, gary started stirring. the chain of events which happened next happened quickly (yet, at the same time, in slow motion). i remember it all as though it were yesterday...
initially the three of us stood frozen-
then, all of the sudden, gary opened his eyes. bugging them, he looked like he was riding on a very frightening roller coaster ride
immediately, linda grabbed her phone to call hospice,
obediently, i climbed into gary's hospital bed next to him and rubbed his head noticing a little of his hair had begun to regrow.
as time passed linda tended to gary's needs, john nervously chitchatted with gary,
i asked, "what did you say, gary?"
he repeated, "look through the roof,
and with that he looked over at linda,
gary shut his eyes and never opened them again.
at least not on this earth...
when he shut them here, i believe he continued to see the beautiful place he tried to share with me... that beauty-filled place free from pain, the place where his heavenly FATHER was waiting to welcome him home.
i love God with all i am