The reality is quickly approaching and soon my dear friend will be asleep. I watch helplessly as this strong, virile man with one of the sharpest minds I have ever known begins the rapid descent into death. This is a man people have always listened to. For one thing, he didn't speak a lot but when he did, you knew he had thought it through and had something to say. The fact that he will one day awaken refreshed, renewed and ready to move forward helps and I work hard to hold that hope close. As I have gotten older, that hope has become more real to me.
I also remember how his daughter helped me learn how to really cry; to open my mouth and bawl so as to release the stress and how I felt when I realized it works. Every so often my friend speaks and it makes me realize that he still has things he wants to say. What a wealth of knowledge and experience he will take with him and it frustrates me because I know somewhere inside he wants to yell - I Still Have Things to Say!!! Then you step back and do what is needed. You pray you will be there to give back just a fraction of what you have been given. And then you find your quiet place, open your mouth and bawl for your friend, his family and yourself - and you remember the hope and feel the peace...until the next time.