What would you write? If you were only allowed one last story, one last poem, one last letter, one last confession, one last opinion, one last breath, what it read like? It might just be the most important thing you’ve ever said. Try?
No pressure here—most important thing I’ll ever say? In that case, the most wise thing is to say nothing, lest I sound like a fool or change my mind.
I recently watched a really good friend of mine slowly die. He didn’t want to be artificially fed or kept alive…so I watched while his body rejected everything that gave him pleasure: regular food that you or I take for granted everyday; then fruit, even cantaloupe and watermelon (which he especially loved when grown in Maryland); then slowly his Seagram’s whiskey and 7-UP; then water; then his Ensure was impossible to keep down.
At the beginning of the summer, he would tell me stories of his past—people and places he knew and loved…and how he fearlessly hopped, skipped and jumped from coast to coast—one truck stop at a time. But as summer drew to a close, all he had left was his TV shows and family who would come visit from time to time. Oh, and painless sleep—that became his escape, his drug of choice. And I sat there—wiped the sweat off him, brought in more cold water as it turned warm, and sat with him and watched countless hours of TV.
I don’t think I would want to go out that way—even if I had no energy. I would like to sit somewhere near the water and sun each day and listen to music, feel nature around me. And I would write..man, WOULD I WRITE!!
About my regrets, about loss and heartache…
those who I need to forgive and whom I need to ask forgiveness from…
how the sun hits a particular leaf or flower,
write love letters (so many, countless…) to my children…
go fishing again—if only on a dock somewhere and drink cold beer and lemonade
take a nap in a hammock lulled to sleep by the sweet wind whispering to me
listen to other people’s stories—just listen
watch my children hunt for treasures along the beach and build sand creations
sing karaoke once more…perhaps Juice Newton or Patsy Cline
move to the sounds of the Grateful Dead
feel the soft touch and kisses from a passionate lover
…and so much more.
Then, I would take these experiences and write, write, write…let my heart spill out and become a place where my soul will be in safe keeping