There are three dishes of food holding space on my bed. In her last days, I would do anything to get her to eat. New smells got her to perk up. I became a vegetarian buying every type of meat. Hot dogs mixed with scrambled eggs. I wish it had been enough.
In her last days, I could count her ribs. The movement seemed to become a chore. I carried her most places like a baby, wrapped up thick in blankets. For the past week, she never stopped shivering.
I never had to face this choice with Adrian. I never had to hold him, breathing; weigh impossible odds. I didn’t have to look into eyes gone soft and full of hurt. I didn’t get to hold his living body in my arms.
I’m thankful to have had this chance with Amy. I’m thankful to have had this time, this love, and these last days. I’m thankful to know she fell asleep with my arms wrapped around her. I’m thankful she no longer knows the pain.
I came home this morning and remembered those dishes. I would have done almost anything to keep her alive. And it’s perhaps my most unselfish moment that I found the strength to let her go. And now I live alone, surrounded by memories.