Holding Hands Holding your hand, I hear you breathing. Deeply, quietly, innocently. Kid, you had to grow elder even before the age of eight. Our only child. Our daughter. Me and Marius stay with you turn by turn, one after another. I’m sure that at the same time at home he hardly can sleep... In the moonlight you seem to be even paler than you are. I try to hold your hand softly not to wake you up by an awkward move. Such a little hand. I see the night passing by, colours are changing and only this room always stays the same. Morning. One more morning with you. Suddenly you open your eyes and pronounce, surprised: - Mum, I saw a castle in my dreams! - What kind of castle, darling? - Beautiful, magic, amazing one! With nice people around. They called me... Marius phoned. - Darling, wanna talk to Dad? - Of couuurse! I gonna talk about the castle! Daddy, .... You’re retelling your story, joyfully. From time to time you giggle. You give me the phone back, smiling. The cheeks got a bit rosy, or does it only seem to me? I left you with daddy. He thought I was already sleeping while I was walking along the streets, still afraid of going home. Empty house, not home. Marius phoned me in the morning and uttered the only word: - Doctor... I came soon. Doctor: - Sorry, but we can do nothing. Little time left. - How much? - One day, two days, I can’t predict exactly, but... - I see. Can we take her away for...today? - Sure. Not previous phrases, but that “sure” scared me. I expected him to resist; to persuade me that taking you to home was the weirdest idea ever, but he agreed at once. He didn’t hesitate at all. At the same moment I felt... Not death. Not end. Life. Beginning of something new. I entered the room: - What if we gonna walk somewhere? Marius kept silence, but you exclaimed: - Right now! All together! Give me your hands. ... Sitting beside the river we were discussing leisure and traveling, the places that we’d visited and that we will visit. Will. We lived this today. We didn’t want let it go. Finally you fell asleep. You were smiling. We closed eyes. No past, no future. No thinking. Just holding hands.

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Your entry places importance on living in the moment. We to often focus on the plans of our future and the memories of our past. Furthermore, you placed all your emphasis on the present, placing every sense on what is happening now. Grasping the hand, the now, and not trying to hold onto the past or grab at the future is so important.

Thank you for sharing this very personal and poignant story. Powerful and moving. Tender and loving.

In Gratitude, Gretchen