It was Thursday. Your first full day at the hospice house. You had church friends visiting and singing hymns with you. Your boys, Grandpa and I were in other parts of the building. Just that morning we all were told that you would be with us a day, at most two. So we were notifying people, trying to process and take care of business while your friends sat with you. But then you asked for the three of them to say goodbye. Every one cleared out of the room so you could have just those three. I sat in the rocking chair not wanting to interrupt your time but not wanting to be away from any of you. The moment was beautiful.
You lay in bed with "Billy" on your right gently stroking your hand, with Grandpa on your left holding your other hand as only a husband can while Jody sat at the foot of your bed caressing your leg as a mother does her sleeping baby or as a son does his dying mother.
I don't remember what was said. I only remember the picture that I didn't want to interrupt with a flash. I burned it into my mind for that day when it is my turn to say goodbye.
The day that I say good bye to my Strong man and my two boys,
I hope that they love me as much as yours do you.
I hope that I can say goodbye with as much dignity as you did.
I hope that as I lay in a bed like yours that I will have lived a life as full as yours.