I only recently learned you had passed away. Today in fact, 2-1/2 months after you took your last breath. I have checked the obituaries a couple of times in the past several years—and I had a feeling I needed to look you up again. The last time I did, I saw that your father had passed away. Although you two never saw eye to eye, he was the one person in your family, outside of yourself, that I related to the most.
When I read the obituary, my heart sunk to my intestines. You were so young. So full of life. Life had been so unfair to you. When I think of your last few years on this earth, I imagine a pure hell. I question the existence of a God who would allow his people to exist in such a manner. However, in contrast to any disbelief, I also like to think you are walking freely in heaven with your dogs…..running like the wind, feeling the earth under your feet and the grass between your toes, stretching your limbs, feeling the air graze between your fingers, laughing, and……..free. Free from wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen tanks, feeding tubes, stiff muscles, and all the hell your disease brought you. And if heaven has a place for potheads, I’m betting you are frequenting that place, too.
You taught me how to trust, to let go, to remove my castle walls, alligator moat, and 100 padlocks. You made me feel alive and beautiful. But you also sucked life out of me. I had promised to love you forever, but I never imagined the future. I wanted so much for God to heal you. I wanted so much for a better diagnosis to arise. As you lost control of your world, you worked to gain control of mine. You wanted more of me than I could give at a time when I was working 2 jobs. I think your dad loved you more than you ever imagined, but he had no freakin idea how to express that. He was angry at God, and he took it out on you. Your mom loved you, but the codependency was so deep, and it wore me down.
I left, and although I never regretted leaving the angst and drama behind, I have always regretted leaving you behind. I knew I would be hated. I knew I would be looked down upon. “She’s not strong enough.” “What did she expect?” “How cruel of her to leave him in his weakness!” I didn’t actually hear any of this, but I am certain such things have been stated.
It has been 7 years since I walked away from you, and I felt the sting of guilt and heartache all over again today. May you run. May you dance. May you shout your freedom from the heavens. I’ll be listening for you.