I see you laying there and hear the machines beeping all around you. A flood of memories come crashing in as I walk into that hospital room.
All of a sudden, I am a 14 year old girl walking down Lockwood Ave in a jean jacket and levis that were washed a million times to get to the right shade. Crossing the street, coming towards me is the guy with the bluest eyes I have ever seen. Your beautiful long locks of dirty blond hair are blowing in the crisp October wind.
Our eyes meet and we say hello.
It’s 44 years later and our eyes meet again, but this time you are lying in a hospital bed awaiting a heart transplant.
The connection is still deep. We both know it. And so does everyone else in the room.
I would do anything to save you if I could. I would do anything to take this pain away from you. You have been such a fighter these last few years. Had more courage than I ever would or could, and always trying to keep the faith. At the first hospital, months ago I was able to sit on the bed with you and hold you. This new hospital has you hooked up so much I can barely touch you. As I bend over to hug you, you hang on tight as if you are going somewhere. Not yet, I say.
A couple of months later you are doing better. A device that will keep you going till the new heart comes has been inserted. You are able to sit up, talk and even roll your eyes at me when I start cleaning up your hospital room. We both know I would be the best one to take care of you, even discussed it, but decided you will be going home to your family. To your house, where the woman that was estranged for years, not caring about anyone but herself, has now decided to come back for some reason. I’m really hoping for your sake that it is the right reason. Everyone does, but everyone has their doubts.
Some would read this and think this story is such a wonderful love story, but it isn’t. There is no happy ending.
Instead, this is a story about how our lives, over the span of 44 years, took different twists and turns. But somehow this crazy bond we possess manages to keep us weaving in and out.
Just at the right times. And sometimes at the wrong times.
This goodbye feels different when I leave the hospital.