We never think about when our loved ones leave us until it gets closer.
It was 5:37, the phone pierced the early morning silence. Her hands unsteady, my mind racing, I watched her reach for it.
I tried not to listen, but by that time he’d already become another father to me.
I lay there with her in the predawn light, pieces of sun pushing through the blinds, her head on my chest, the tears flowing, hers and mine.
I held her until she had to get up and clear her sinuses.
My chest moist from her tears, her hair damp from mine and as she returned to bed, I realized what we’d been through the last 16 years.
She’d watched two of my grandfathers pass and one grandmother. While I saw her grandmother and that morning her father, but through all of it I never had that moment of clarity which expressed itself that morning.
We’d seen the worst of each other. The worst of our parents and yet we still clung to each other that morning.
I see her today. Her face bright, her multicolored eyes shimmering and I think about a year ago when I nearly took my own life.
I see our kids, their beautiful faces and remember thinking, “they’ll be better.”
But the truth was, I believed it then.
Today I see the life I almost gave up and I hug her tighter because I almost wasn’t there to hold her, to embrace her and wipe the tears away.
The last 8 months has changed me. Transcendental Meditation has changed who I am and I never thought I could feel this happy, but I never believed I’d live this long.