I’ve just discovered that I have only fifteen minutes to live. Frantically I search for my husband, my children. My thoughts race as I run through the people who I need to call, the apologies never uttered. My gut wrenches over the mistakes I made – wrongs I can never make right. I wish that I could be at peace. My heart sinks.
I wonder how my death will be. Will it just be lights out? No time to think of that. I have found my family now, they’re playing in the back yard. Everything seems very surreal – like in slow motion, sort of hazy. Almost dream like. I reach out for them, and they seem so far away. I’m so deeply sad, so sad for the hugs I won’t hug, the tears I won’t wipe, the laughter I won’t hear anymore. The sounds of little feet that will still run the floors of my house, race over the soft grass in the yard… sweet sounds that won’t light on my ears ever again. I wonder if I’ll be able to see them in heaven. Will I even be in heaven? A tear rolls down my cheek and I brush it away quickly – forcing myself to be strong.
It’s time to start to say good-bye. Is nine minutes long enough to say good-bye forever to the people whom I’ve professed to love the most? My guts twist. It feels a little like I’m going on a long trip, but this is permanent. Maybe God will change his mind at the last moment. I finally reach my daughters. I grip them tightly, running my hands through their soft hair, feeling their little bodies pressed against mine. My husband looks at me strangely as I choke back sobs. My son comes running to me, and says with all his six-year old gusto, “Mama, I LOVE you SO much!” as he wraps his little arms tightly around my neck.
I can’t breathe now.
Tim is quickly approaching as I begin to fall to the ground. I gaze into the eyes of the man who has loved me through every moment of our life together. I can feel him picking me up as my breath becomes ragged. The children are concerned, their eyes becoming full of worry. He looks down at me and whispers into my ear the words that have comforted, the words that have loved, the words that have made me smile every day for the past fifteen years.
I wish it was not so painful, as I tell them each how much I love them. I look into their eyes and gently touch their hands. I promise to watch over them, even as I wonder if that’s allowed. My heart aches for my family and at the same time, I feel my spirit start to lift. It’s as though God above is opening the heavens for me, easing the pain and welcoming me home. I’m ready, and as I start to drift away from, their tears start to fall.
They had no idea.