The drips of water slowly built up, then would cascade down the glass in little bursts. I stood and watched this little spectacle from the hall just outside the icu on St Meredith’s second floor. The water seemed to snake downward as the nurse spoke behind me.
“it’s time, if you want to speak to her you should now”
Tears began to cascade like the rain drops on the pain I silently waved the nurse away.
I don’t regret my lack of words that day, only not being able to see her once more.
I want to think I raised my boys well they are both doing good financially and have good women steering them straight. John has two beautiful girls. I am sure Gerald will be a great father if or when the time comes. Those boys will be alright.
Funny the way I drank I always figured liver disease would be my drought. But it was cancer for me too. We were connected me and her one last time. Getting up to pee four times a night I guess isn’t always just a part of getting old.
John would have understood but for all his ego I knew Gerald never would. That’s why I never gave either a clue even when it got bad. I was lucky enough with excuses when they came by. Maybe Jeanie was looking out on this. When the time came I took care of my matters and was able to slip out for my last walk.
It was a blue morning with a sun so warm you could feel it before it rose. The air smelt like pine and held heavy with the early day’s humidity. As I started off on the path from my old Chevy pickup I thought of my boys and their family: Gerald’s ornery grin and Johnny’s wife Jen’s angelic smile.
I walked into those woods knowing full well it was my last. I had a lot of experience taking my boys on local day hikes and camping. I also had a good bit of the pacific north’s forest to choose from. I didn’t want my body found if I could help it, if otherwise I wanted at least to leave just scattered bones.
With my truck parked and alibi given I took my walk. Damn that morning sun was beautiful, kinda like Jeanie’s smile