It is the season of letting go.
Of hands both small and big. Of summer days and swimming pools. Of green leaves and daffodils.
It begs us to stop and breathe and understand that time is fleeting and life is short.
Just as it did the very last time I heard you speak my name.
The wind was fierce and the cold, bitter, made only more so by the warmth that hit my face as I walked into memory care that day.
I signed in at the front desk and made my way around the corner to find you sitting in your chair. I sat. You smiled. And then you took my hand with yours and drew it up against your sweet face.
I knew your furrowed brow and gaze was a silent, “Sara Bear, your hands are too cold.” But just about the time I thought you would let go, you didn’t.
You held on as we sat through the morning memory games. You held on as I tried to feed you a little soup. You held on as I wheeled you back to your room.
You held on until I sat down next to you on your bed, when you looked at me and said, “Sara, it’s time to let go now.”
My heart knew this was our goodbye.
But it was also you teaching me about love and letting go.
That love will hold on in the warmth and light of hello.
That love will hold on in the unending chaos of the messy and the mundane.
That love will hold on as you journey together from room to room, phase to phase, year to year.
And then, when you least expect it, love will ask you to let go.
Of hands both small and big. Of summer days and swimming pools. Of green leaves and daffodils. Of a life you thought would last forever.
Because it was only a season, a moment, a breath.
Wrapped up in a love so steadily etched that when the time comes, your heart will already know to say goodbye.