Meeting Ali

Sometimes an event will happen in my life that is so much bigger than I am it reminds me that I am indeed a grain of sand on this beach of life.  I met Brian a month ago and we became friends.  The first night he came to my house there was an instant warmth and safety i felt inside that was foreign and yet very relaxing.  He sat on my couch and i made us coffee and we talked.  he had just come from the Hospice his baby sister was a patient in.  Her name is Ali.  She is 35 years old and dying of cervical cancer.  Brian is 39 and the epitome of the older brother.  Fiercly loyal, loving and protective.  He and i had spoke about Ali on the phone a lot and i always sent him and her love and light.  The weird thing was it never felt unnatural or forced or pressured to be there for either of them.  I felt like I knew Ali. I felt like I knew him. I don't know how and even though my brain couldn't figure it out my soul was very much at peace.  After a few weeks i decided i needed and wanted to meet Ali.  I told Brian and he arranged it so we could go together.  The first night we went i became very anxious and worried.  We had bought her a little orange pumpkin and i sat in the passenger seat of his car clutching the stem and trying to breathe,  Brian asked for my hand and said very calmly, "of course you are uncomfortable, it's a big deal you are showing up, just keep breathing Rez."  

I had always prided myself as being this fierce warrior survivor.  And i am in a sense but i am also very fragile and feel very deeply and one way I have protected my heart through this sometimes brutal life is to have a role I play and lines i recite and a mask i can wear.  It is safe there.  I know those people.  I know those lines and that blocking so to speak.  I was now choosing to walk into a room where I did not know my lines or blocking or anything about what i would feel.  It was terrifying and exhilarating in the same moment.  It required me to trust the moment and myself in a way that i had been working on a lot this past year.  Learning to be still and just keep breathing. 

We walked into her room and Brian walked over to her and kissed her forehead and kissed his Mom and there was another man in the room, other visitors.  I realized i was clinging to the doorway holding the pumpkin when Brian turned and smiled at me and motioned for me to come over.  I walked over to the bed and saw this 35-year-old woman who now looked like a little baby all skin and bones but with the most beautiful face and eyes i have ever seen.  I couldn't stop staring into her eyes and i don't even know when it happened but she was holding my hand.  And i was bent over holding her hand looking into these two huge blue ocean eyes with gold shooting through them like a sunrise and i saw, well I saw the world.  She whispered to me as we held eye contact, "you look so familiar."   I said "You do too Ali" and she said "you are perfect."  

Her eyes closed after that and she drifted off to sleep but she was still holding my hand.  So  I sat in the chair next to her bed and let her hold on.  And i held right back.  And all i could feel in that moment.  That perfect moment where i didn't know my lines, my blocking, my anything was that everything was just perfect.  It was exactly as it was supposed to be.  Ali was right.  I am perfect just as I am.  No mask, no lines rehearsed, just me.  Holding her hand, bringing her a pumpkin and sitting still and just breathing.  just.  breathing.