Brandi was nearly finished with this letter, this one to her dear husband who had stood by her side for so many years. She loved him with every ounce of her being, every fiber of her soul, and every breath she took was for him.
These past two weeks that had never been more true. Each breath was torturous, strained, and exhausting. Each inhale burned her lungs, each exhale was purely to give herself the opportunity to breath in once again, always hoping for a full breath of air, never quite attaining it.
She had been given three months to live, and she had made it four. Each and every single day she wrote a letter, some to her beautiful children, others to her husband, and a few to her parents. She wanted to say all those things that were on her heart, things she wanted to them to feel in theirs.
But it’s not easy. How does one convey onto a sheet of paper all the things she had planned to say at her three year old’s future wedding, or her six year old’s high school graduation? How does one write a letter fully expressing the love she already has for future grandbabies and baptisms? How does one convey to a child so young that she loves every single freckle on their face? or that she would be the mom to hug them before she let them out of the car on their first day of high school?
And just as painfully, how does one convey their eternal love to their spouse? In an effort to make the most out of each day, she had dug through the things they had kept from their wedding day months ago. She dug out the white quill pen, the one she had promised her husband would be the perfect touch to their perfect wedding day. He had smiled and splurged on the item, even though their college student savings were slim, and she had been so happy.
But now, today, she is writing a letter with that pen, and the words just won’t come. She wants him to know that she has stayed awake just to watch him sleep. She wants him to know that she craves his touch. She wants him to know that he has been more than a husband; he has been a best friend, comedian, comforter, provider and protector every single time they have been together, and that even their quarrels were done out of a sense of one of these things.
She wants him to know she will miss fighting with him, miss that fire in his eyes, and miss the excitement that etched across his face every time they were at a race track. She wants him to know that she still hates his coffee breath but loves him to making it for her. She hated the way he left his socks around the house but now wishes she had the strength to pick them up. The way he always parked on her side of the garage drove her crazy, but she loved that he always kept her car spotless.
She wants him to know how sorry she is. She never meant for all this to happen; she never meant to get the C word, she never meant to leave her children motherless, she never meant to burden her husband with her unending care these past few months. She had been blessed to nurse her babies at the breast, but now he would need to nurse them through a funeral and through the rest of their lives. She fought voraciously hard to avoid this ending, but it was here nonetheless.
There was so much more to say, decades more of life that should have been experienced to pen, but she was out of time and out of strength. All she could manage was a simple, “I love you,” and even as she scribbled that last letter, the ink ran dry. Her heart shattered.
The ink ran dry. There was nothing left to say.
But there was too much left to say.
She had promised her husband and her babies she wouldn’t go anywhere while they were at t-ball today, but her breaths were so heavy, and her heart was so broken. She had wrapped herself in these letters the last few months, each note she imagined another quill in her angel wings, and that’s how she hoped her children would remember her. She had used it as a shield, to protect herself from all the feels and emotions in this awful roller coaster, but now she knew she needed to unfurl the wings, spread them and fly.
Even though she promised her family to be there when they returned, she no longer had the energy. She was tired.
The ink ran dry. Her wings were complete.