she had dropped off a cake earlier in the day.
i met her in the back yard.
i met her over by the walk that connects my
yard to my other neighbor. she travels thru.
she was out of breath, holding flowers and a cake
and a card.
she knows i like yellow roses. went up to one store
looking for them. they didn't have any. so she went
home to rest. then she went to the other store!
they didn't have any either. so she got me these.
which were absolutely beautiful. what struck me was
the two store search! i commented on that. she
looked at me and said 'i'd do anything for you.'
i knew she meant it too.
i ohhed and ahhed and showed her my bike and then
she headed off to rest a bit more.
later, when it was just me around here, i sliced two
pieces of cake and hopped on my new bike. rode down
to her house (which is really close) and knocked on
'will you have a piece of birthday cake with me?'
and we sat in her living room eating cake together.
and somehow or another we got into one of the best
most honest conversations we ever had.
i told her i had been watching her and thinking and
wondering. told her i noticed that she wasn't following
up on a medical procedure she was sposed to have. asked
her very gently about it. asked her if she wanted to die.
yeah, she did.
and we talked about that.
'how does it work?' i asked her.
'do you just get so tired and sore that you just don't
want it anymore?'
and she told me how she was feeling.
we talked of being alone, we talked of living a full life,
we talked of missing friends.....
i could just feel this huge sigh of relief in the room...
we could talk about it.
we've always been able to tell each other things so it
wasn't incredibly unusual. but there was something different
a tiny crack in a door opened and i felt it, and i
stepped thru it. i didn't want to miss it.
there was a gentleness, an acceptance, and a moment when
she felt safe enough to put her burden down for just a bit
and have a piece of birthday cake with me.
how amazing......something to celebrate my living gave us
a chance to honestly talk about her dying.
it felt like a gift to me.
i'm thinking it maybe did to her too.
i hopped on my bike. she stood on the porch watching.
i rode it a little extra so she could see the stars
swish in the wind....and i headed home thinking about
what a journey it all is......
and how good that cake tasted with her.