To Be Continued…or Not

I crack my windows open and the cool winds and bird songs breeze into the room. “Hello, God,” I think as I can feel my soul mend a tiny bit to the sound of the Stellar Jay who lives in the tree right outside my window. “It’s so nice to know you’re still here.

The little girls next door are riding their bikes in circles in the deserted road in front of our houses. “Hello, little girls,” I think as I feel the little girl inside of me start to remember how it felt to laugh and play despite the world around me. “Please stay young and never forget how to laugh.”

The hoot owl starts hooting in a way that tells me the sunset is coming. “Hello, Mr. Owl,” I think as I listen to his reminder that each day comes to an end. I won’t get to see the sunset tonight because of the clouds. “Thanks for the reminder. Please remind me again tomorrow if I’m still here.”

My phone buzzes to let me know a “favorite” contact has messaged me. “Hello, son,” I respond. “Thank you for being born and being my son. I love you. I will always love you. Nothing will ever make me stop loving you. You make me proud every single day.”

My stomach rumbles to remind me I haven’t eaten. “Hello, tummy,” I think as I consider what food I have left to eat. “I’ll feed you in a minute. Be patient. But don’t get too excited because there is a lockdown going on and I haven’t any ice cream left.”

My soul stirs within me in a way that immediately brings a new batch of tears. “Hello, soul,” I reply. With Grandma Taylor’s death last summer, this is my first Mother’s Day without an order to the florist. “It’s hard not to cry when you realize all of the mothers before you are gone.”

My leg cramps painfully. “Hello, muscles,” I reply. I spent an entire week being the Human Sloth and now everything hurts. “I have five beginner yoga videos picked out on YouTube. Before I go to bed tonight, I will do at least one of them. I promise.”

My chest barely rises with my shallow breaths. “Hello, lungs” I mumble. I try not to think about the cancer eating away at my organs but sometimes the pain insists on being considered. “I’m sorry I smoked for so long and wish I had never picked up that first cigarette.”

My mind conjures up his face and the smell of his neck. “Hello, John Michael,” I exhale. It’s been almost two years since he died but I can still remember almost every detail of his body and hear his laughter. “I’m not mad at you for dying anymore. I miss you so.”

My pillbox sits next to me reminding me what day it is. “Hello, medicine,” I think. At this point it’s just supplements to help ease the suffering of being alive in a dying body. “Thanks for reminding me to take care of my meat coated skeleton. It’s the only one I have; dying or not.”

My lower abdomen pinches painfully. “Hello, bladder,” I say. If I don’t hurry and give it some relief, it’ll just do it’s own thing to find it. “Please give me a few more minutes before you give up. I’m comfortable and don’t want to get up yet.”

My mailbox outside the window waves it’s red arm at the postal carrier coming tomorrow. “Hello, mailbox,” I think. There is a four-page letter in there containing a long overdue apology. “Thank you for sending that. If I come out and try to take it back, don’t let me.”

My old workhorse MacBook starts to get too warm on my lap. “Hello, Mac,” I type. I guess it’s time to go relieve my bladder and feed my stomach while it cools down. “Thank you for giving me a voice with which to speak. When I’m gone, it’s okay to tell my family what I’ve said.”

Death knocks quietly in the near distance. “Hello, Death!” I whisper. My lifelong companion, near death has become a reality instead of a figment of a mental illness. “I welcome you until I hear you and then I fear you. But more than anything, I accept that you’re coming. But please approach slowly. I have some things I want to say before you get here.”

…to be continued. If I do, that is.