I am leaving you today.
Yesterday I told you that I would be gone early in the morning, but I cannot. How could I not see you one last time?
Your arms are outstretched for a hug, but I cannot, for it would be too hard. I wonder if you understand why.
I have knelt by your bed and held your hand and told you stories of time spent in the deserts of Africa. I was your age then, but unlike you, footloose and irresponsible. Some would say I have not changed.
I relived for you each night’s starry southern cross, the white sand of the ocean shore going on for miles and miles against the background of blue seascape, how the sharks were drawn to the sound of the helicopter’s beating blades.
I have read to you to while away the endless hours when you were awake.
I watched as you closed your eyes, and listened.
I watched as you closed your eyes, and slept.
I wonder if you will remember.
I know I will.
* * * *
It is not a long ride home, as rides go, but it has been lonely. I am comforted by the knowledge that Teresa’s daughter, family and friends remain behind to help her through the nights and days to come.