Written by Karen D. Swim
I sat by his bed with the notebook by my side. The day was warm and clear and I gazed into the backyard as he slept. He had worked so hard on the yard and it was one of our favorite things about our lovely little home. A vegetable garden right outside our bedroom window provided us with beautiful tomatoes, peppers, corn, herbs and greens. An array of beautiful blooms surrounded the yard like the borders of a frame. The trees seemed to gently watch over us as they stretched toward the sky.
A few weeks ago he had cut down huge branches from the tress closest to the house. He seemed like a man possessed. I hated watching trees being trimmed and my eyes brimmed with tears as I feared he was cutting too much. I asked him what he was doing. Without missing a beat with the saw he told me he had to do it while he could so I would not have to worry. My husband was not romantic in the traditional sense but his practical gestures of love were like a sonnet written upon my heart.
His gentle breathing quickened and I shook from my reverie, returning to the present. I looked over, ready to spring into action when he looked toward the right of the room. His brows knitted together, he asked “who are all those people?” I followed his eyes and asked softly, “What people honey?” “All those people, dressed in white.” I swallowed the lump in my throat before responding, “those are the angels honey they are watching over you.” Pleased with my answer he continued to look at them in silence. I don’t know what he saw but I felt a mixture of peace and sadness. I could not bear to let this man go, so many things left undone, but I knew that if it were to be he would be gently carried away to a far better place.
The following week I calmly called 911 when he struggled to breathe. I opened the notebook and gave the paramedics a full history of all that happened that day, blood pressure, pulse, glucose, medications, and more. They eyed me in amazement but love had taught me to keep track. I drove behind the ambulance to the hospital, making phone calls along the way. Once again, I sat by his bed, comforting, praying and loving him. Soon he was being wheeled to ICU and our hands locked together, I leaned in and told him I wanted him to live but if he needed to let go, I would be okay.
The words so easily tumbled from my lips in spite of the pain in my heart because love had taught me to put it first. It was not my pain that mattered but his peace. That was to be our final night. No words were left unspoken as the angels gently carried him away. Love taught me to embrace it fiercely, and cherish it deeply but to release it when the time came for it to soar to the heavens.
I learned from love how to let go.
This post is a contribution to the February What I Learned From groupwrite project. I struggled to hit publish on this one and Robert gently encouraged me and graciously offered to accept my late entry. Thank you Robert!
Wednesday Love List
- Terry Starbucker, Floundering in a Sea of (Mis)Trust Terry Starbucker the man with the best play list on Twitter, discusses Animal House, peanut butter and the search for truth.
- Love is blooming at Joyful Jubilant Learning, Joanna Young is having an affair and Steve Sherlock is trembling and turning to the Bard for love inspired poetry.
- Are you a digital doer or page turning romantic, Ulla directs a lively discussion in the muse court of Berlin.
- Street Trader or smart marketer? Andrew embarks on a thoughtful discussion of the street vendor.