i have seen her at the grocery store i’m too often at because lists are left on counters and passenger seat. scarf covering smooth head had cancer printed between the bright graphics. for months i’ve watched her building towers of fruit and veggies while her health falls down. not sure if asking was welcome, i chose to answer eye contact with smiling.
i didn’t know her name until a large basket appeared at the front of the store requesting cards for connie.
she came to mind quickly and i asked. the manager’s eyes filled with tears to match my own as she confirmed connie had gone home to die. strangers ourselves, our hearts matched in that moment because it hurts to say or hear this kind of meantime.
today my children, their friends and i are going to take squares of paper and stickers of stars and sunshine and add bright colors and glitter to her basket.
i am unsure of words.
maybe a thank you for glimpse of one foot in front of other in midst of weight pressing down hard enough to take life.
maybe a wish that every moment left will bring best sights and tastes and smells of this beautiful world to mind. that they will line the way she walks home so that it is joyous.
maybe a saying so. her place in this world was noticed, had worth, counted.
maybe a prayer that she has found light in the dark and comfort in knowing after this door closes, even more begins. that she finds her place in no sorrow, no pain.
and in heart, when i come to my knees, i will ask for a miracle because i believe in the god who owns them.
i remember standing next to hospital bed of my sister in love. knowing no life was left beyond the pulsing machines and pushing of air in and out. the touching of button that acknowledged her meantime ending. my heart’s hurt for parents left to say a forced goodbye. for three children in waiting room whose meantime would sometimes be spent pushing back the shadow left by her leaving.
and this? this is my meantime. it seems not shortened to the point of counting as much…but it should. because ending is not mine to know.
so today, maybe we hold closer and call sooner.
add stickers and glitter with less thought of cleanup after.
share the picture that makes us wow out loud.
crowd coffee shops with our getting together.
leave a little earlier for the scenic route.
let our laughing be as loud as it wants to be.
let our love be big and often.