Thursday, November 8, 2007


Visiting Lynda now is a much more calming experience than it has been in the recent past, in part because of the quiet setting that she enjoys, but mostly it is because Lynda is herself is so serene.

Often, when I would sing and/or talk my children off to sleep, I would find myself with eyes closed, ready for the release I was offering them even before they'd had a chance to get there, so that last verse or paragraph became quite a challenge, often lost till prodded to wake up so they could get to sleep. It is no different with Lynda, for when I come in and after I've had a chance to say hi and give her a kiss, she is so quickly returned to sleep that I immediately feel the urge to drift off myself, which, in fact, I do.

I pull up the lounger to the bedside and stick my hand in between the bedrail to hold hers and in the very next minute I am sleeping, not soundly, but softly, in response to and in resonance with her own restless repose. There is, of course, nothing really to say that I haven't already said, save the affirmation of love spoken when I first hold her hand and feel her taught and tender skin against my lips, so the communication we have flows between our connected hands and our brains, long used to interacting with spoken words, now silently and softly speak within the language of resonances, physical as well as spiritual.

There is not much discussion of the spirit and/or god in these essay not just because I do not wish to impart my own feelings about the nature of our being into thoughts and comments about Lynda's last days of life; readers may refer to the clearly marked yet deftly obscured subtext for that. In fact, I make no mention of spirit or god because it is simply not relevant. In our many discussions about race and religion and politics, we often talked about god, but never in the context or her death, and that long before it was an imminent condition. What matters is not what will happen after she is gone, but what we've done up to that point. I may be fortunate enough to discover what happens to her after she's gone, but that's no incentive seek spirituality in these final moments.

I feel the flesh fading and know there will be soon only that feeling of resonance left in my empty hand. So, someday soon, I will hold my hand or mouth a certain way; cross my legs or cough, laugh or lift my leg for a fart and I will not just think of Lynda, but in fact, I will be Lynda, or what is left, anyway, resonating still in my body. For that small gift, and the many more to follow, I will be grateful.

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