“Can I have dad’s wallet?” Langston asked.
“Sure.” I said quickly.
And the sadness swept in on the sing-song 'ly.'
Like love-ly or
Floating in, settling.
As the ly settled I saw that I knew, back in February....
I knew he would die.
February was his 44th birthday. He had wanted a wallet. Something I had failed to get him at Christmas.
I remember standing in the store trying to decide which one to get for him, a decision clouded at that time with no sleep, feeling thinned out and elongated from running back and forth between him, the doctors and the stress and the kids, their lives and the stress.
Back then I thought that my will alone could keep him alive.
I remember choosing a wallet.
I remember picking up the wallet. I remember it in my hand. I remember facing the cashier.
And I remember, before I placed it on the counter, I turned away.
Placing it back in it's place and whispering, quietly,
inside my head so even I could barely hear ...
"Let's wait and see what's gonna happen."
I remember leaving the store, facing the rest of my day as if I never thought those words.
If you had asked me yesterday if I thougth Art was going to die, the answer would have been "NO!"
I thought I was surprised when he finally gave up fight. I thought I was unprepared when I watched as his very last exhale left his body.
But inside, buried so I could not see it or hear it, I knew it would be a struggle for him to live. Inside, back when, I knew it was over.
So I never bought him the new wallet.
I'm sorry, honey.
I'm sorry I gave up.