Monday, May 18, 2015

A bike ride, and dying with dignity

QUINCY IS A great place for a bike ride. I'm pushing my new Trek through the south end neighborhoods on pleasant spring evenings, and I love the breeze in my face and the smell of promised summer.

Last night I drifted onto the north side of State Street, and down an alley I saw a friend, standing behind her house.

I thought about leaving her alone. Her husband has cancer and is down to his last days, maybe hours. Hospice is keeping him comfortable, and it's a matter of time.

Stolen from Madison Davis facebook page
Something made me turn around and head down the alley. I apologized for bothering her. She actually appeared glad to see me. "I'm just getting some fresh air," she said. She had tears in her eyes.

I gave her a hug. She is prepared, as ready as anybody can be to watch their one true love pass away. We talked about her husband for a while. Then she said, "How is the business?"

She has a demanding job and is fascinated with the whole quitting the steady gig and jumping from the plane idea. She loves the fact our old Fifth and Maine building is coming back to life. For a short while, her mind was away from what's going on inside her beautiful home, where her husband is drawing his last breaths.

I told her to call her neighbor a few doors down, and we'll make a plan to hang out on their deck this summer and make some six-string noise, as we did a few summers ago. "I have a feeling I will have the time and I'll need it," she said. Now she was smiling.

Many don't get to say goodbye - Sheryl and I lost our mothers and each a brother without warning, a regret we will take to our grave. Closure is so important. So my friend says she is treasuring her last days, grateful for celebrating a life well lived as it winds down.

She said, "I've never met a man with more courage."

I've never met a woman with more, either.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you decided to turn around..Sounds like she needed a hug and small chat..