There comes a time that we must face our own mortality. A time when we realize that we have more years behind us then before us. A time when we begin to think about the end of our life and make preparation, for Tricia, that time has come. No, she is not sick or dying. She is alive and well. She is still a valuable employee of corporate America. She simply wants to exercise some aspect of control over her end time.
Tricia is one of those people often described as “eternally youthful.” Even in her mid-sixties, she is beautiful. She is so full of life; giving and vibrant, mentoring and mothering everyone around her. To meet her is to love her. Five years older than I, Tricia was my mentor through those all confusing college years and the maid of honor in my wedding.
We have had an extraordinary friendship these forty some odd years. Time and distance, arguments, men, children, or money may have tested our friendship but, we withstood them all and for all intents and purposes, we are sisters. Sisters of the heart.
I believe that’s why she called me yesterday. She wants the wishes of her heart made known and she wants me to do it.
Her wishes are simple enough:
- She wants to be cremated.
- A Japanese Maple is to be purchased and planted in her daughter’s yard and she would like her ashes are to be buried under the tree.
- She has set aside approximately two thousand dollars for a party in her honor. Where those who love her can gather together and tell stories about her. No solemn, boring funeral for her.
- She appointed me to speak on her past and someone whom she has worked with for twelve years to speak on whom she is now.
- There is a picture that hangs above her bed that she wants blown up and set on a stand at the party for all to see; because those who love her will understand why she chose that particular picture.
- She made me promise that her beloved Chihuahua, Co Co, her companion and best friend be cared for and not be placed in a shelter. But if she and Co Co die together, like in a car accident, that they be buried together.
These are things that I can do. I can convey her wishes to her family. I will be strong and fight for her when the time comes, if she precedes me in death.
There was however one additional request that she made of me. There is one wish of her heart that is not within my power to grant although with all my being I will try to fulfill.
The telephone call I received from Tricia was prompted by two dreams that she had. In one dream, she saw someone she could not identify at the point of death. In that dream, there was an inordinate amount of blood. The second dream that she had she felt was directly related. Someone that she did not recognize asked questions of her. “Do you know?” They asked, “Do you really know?”
Her dreams affected her so, she rose from her bed and called everyone she could think of to find out if they were okay. Finding her loved ones well, her thoughts turned to her own mortality. Tricia said she began to think about all the people that she encountered and interacted with in her life. There are so many. She began to think about all the people she had befriended and helped along the way. After everything said and done, she surmised, she has only three, maybe four, friends that remained through all of her life’s ups and downs. Friends that did not run when the hard times came.
Tricia asked me to promise one last thing. “Don’t let me die alone.” She asked me to be there to see her through. “To die alone,” she said, “means I never lived.”
I know what her dreams mean, and with God’s help, I will see her through. Not because she’s dying, but because she’s living. Now is the time to make this wish of her heart come true so she will never be alone.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me,
be with me where I am;
that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:
for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.