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  • Lindsey Garner

Moment By Moment

Tonight I sat in a hospital room, and watched the sun set through the window. I looked down at the tiny people playing soccer and miniature boats bobbing in the water below the window. The sun went down, as it does every day. Life carrying on. People going about their days. Meanwhile, my life has simultaneously screeched to a halt and sped up at an alarming rate. I'm bored, more present than I've ever been, in love, angry, sad and joyful all at the same time.

My best friend is laying in the bed across the room trying to stay positive; trying to be right here in this moment, but all the while thinking about what will happen from all of this, and what his future looks like. He loves to know what his future holds. He loves certainty. But right now, the air is thick with more questions than answers most of the time. Every day, he surprises me with his ability to lean into something new; some new little lesson he's taking from all of this. Every day, I get the chance to learn more about who he is.

Four months ago, we sat on a beach by our house and watched the same sun set while we talked about our future. We talked about the campgrounds we will visit and the adventures we will have . We laughed about the strange people we would meet along the way. Things change quickly don't they? One minute we sit and talk about what we think our lives will look like in five years. The next, we are living one hour at a time. I cringe to think about how greedy we were with our entitlement of a future. We couldn't have known. I get it. But it's still hard. Moments wasted to just stop and turn to him to tell him how amazing I thought he was.

This man I have spent almost a decade growing with, learning and loving sits here and I'm unable to change the pain he's in, the circumstances that we find ourselves in. It's the worst kind of powerlessness. So much of our lives, I've been able to find a solve, or a way out. I've always been good at that. Tell me the problem, and I'll jump right into action. I'll find someone I know that could help, or make a list. I love a good list. None of that is what's needed now.

Right now is a time for deep, unconditional love. I don't think I really knew what that meant until all of this. I'm clear as hell on it now. It means, "I forgive you", "I don't care about any of that", "we have this moment" and "just for now, hold my hand". It's about recognition of someone deep down. Knowing them truly, and accepting all of it. I realized a few days ago, that when you truly, deeply love someone, there is nothing they could do to change that. There are things that might change your circumstances, but that love is still there.

Things have been hard. I've wanted to run away. I won't lie about that. I've wanted to pack my dog, my things and my daughter into my jeep and run for the hills; run as fast as I can away from fear, uncertainty and anger. What would that do though? I would get to my cabin in the mountains and realize that love just followed me there and would hover over me, calling me back to right where I came from. Here I am, wading through this muck, hoping to learn what I can from it, and knowing without an ounce of doubt that unconditional love is the only solve I have for this.

When I die, I know without a doubt that I want to look back and know I threw my entire soul into love. I want my daughter and my husband to know that love deep in their bones, so I suppose the only way to have that happen is to continue wading. Continue to sit in it.

The end of this story looks a lot like me here in this chair, holding his hand and going one hour at a time. Nothing is promised to us, and I will not forget that. Tell your people you love them. Tell them you're there through it all. Let them know.

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