January 19

Not Alone

Late November, 2012, my wife, Linda, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It was late stage and had metastasized to her lungs. One night, shortly after her diagnosis, I woke up from a bad dream—no, it was a nightmare. We were flying in a small airplane, much like the J-3 Cub we once owned, except Linda was at my side. Things began to go wrong, and I was losing control of the airplane—

Mad Love

Not Alone

 

The wing tips begin to shudder and the control stick shakes in my hand.

I have lost sight of the horizon.

 

Let it go, let it drop plays in my mind.

I resist for a moment, then I stop holding back—I let go.

 

The nose falls and the horizon jumps above my vision—the ground explodes into view.

Nothing but vastness—frantically, I scan for a safe place to land.

 

My sole passenger radiates faith—unaware of the Clarke Kent disguise.

Distantly, others reach out—an attempt to slow the plunging spiral, but their voices only comfort our fall.

 

Gauges on the instrument panel float tauntingly—unburdened of reality.

Magically, they escape my touch—bursting into a kaleidoscope of color.

 

A cold silence erodes the pit of my stomach—an urge to close my eyes weighs heavily.

Trying not to panic, I check my seat restraint—it is not there.

 

I reach to grasp her hand—I am alone.

My body trembles and jerks upright—beads of sweat spill from my cheek.

 

A shadowed figure lies next to me—awash with moonlight ebbing through the single bedroom window.

I reach over and touch her hair, feel her warmth, listen to her sleeping breath—I am not alone.

 


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Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved. Steven Schuler

Posted January 19, 2014 by Steve Schuler in category "Memoir", "Musings