“I’m tired. I’m ready to go. I love you so much.”
It was the last text message that she sent.
Twenty-two years locked in a broken body, she had no movement except for her wrists and hands. She could not even speak because of the breathing tube in her throat. Her body was riddled with contractures that made it hard to find comfort. This night was the last in a long line of hospital stays to treat the increasing lung infections. Muscular dystrophy was cold and cruel.
She may have been ready to leave that body, but she was still hesitant to go. While her life was no picnic, it was all she knew. She looked at her mother – her whole world – sitting on the edge of her bed, tears were flowing freely. She hated to think of her mother in so much pain. She would move heaven and earth to be able to take away that woman’s grief. She didn’t want to leave her.
She knew the time was growing near and she squeezed her mother’s hand, partly in panic – wanting to keep that connection, to communicate. Here with mother she was safe and so loved. Everything that lay beyond was unknown.
She had thought often of the end of her life, those final moments. She was not prepared for the conflict – sadness, disappointment, regret, fear, anticipation, relief. They were warring inside of her, noisy and tumultuous.
“Baby, it’s okay. It’s okay to let go,” her mother said, choking back tears.
And she did, later that night, let go. I like to think that her soul danced into that light with an ease and fluidity that she never knew on this earth.
A/N: Dedicated to Victoria. Fly high, sweet girl. You will be missed.