On Saturday, September 3, 2016, @ 8:15 am, I said goodbye to my best friend.
The call came in at 6:06 am; but I slept right through it. I’d spent the last few days going back and forth to Hospice House and taking Ian to and from CCHS for school and band. I was just so tired; but knew I’d not sleep.
I woke up at 7:20 am to my dogs telling me to get up and let them out. No rest for the wicked. As it happens, I looked at the answering machine after they came inside and saw that glowing green #1 and knew. I listened to the message and called back right away. It was then I was told he was going fast. I hurriedly dressed and drove there.
The nurse hung up with me and went to Leif’s room and told him to hang on, I was on the way. I arrived at 7:50 am. I caressed his head and held his hand. I kissed him and sang to him. I prayed with him and I told him it was okay to let go and be with our Heavenly Father. I told him I loved him and I felt his hand spasm and then he was gone. I continue to sit with him, not wanting to let go. The nurse came in at 8:27 and I told her he was gone. She retrieved the doctor and it was official at 8:30.
The social worker came. She had a blue vase with gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers (my favorites) with her, a sign, I am sure, that he was telling me it was okay. He was okay. I shared some funny and sweet stories with the social worker, nurses and staff members. They came in to make him “presentable” and I wandered off to the chapel to pray.
I told our Father to take care of him. To hold him close and show him the “ropes”. I told him I’d be there to meet him and to enjoy the time he’ll spent with his two daughters. His life here was so hard, so unfair, so tragic; but now, he’s in heaven and has his new body and can be with those who will only show him love.
Arrangement had to be made and decisions I wasn’t ready for; but had to make. Pastor Larry at Hope prayed with me, spoke with me and reminded me that God is my strength and my comfort.
He was so cold.
My comfort also comes from knowing Leif is finally at peace. He is no longer hurting. His soul is renewed in love and that one day we will meet again. I will miss this great, big, gentle giant who loved me more than anything in the world. I will see you again, my Cota Bear.
On Sunday, I went to make and finalize arrangements for his cremation. I ordered his urn. Papers signed, notifications made, tears flowed.
Leif was my hero. My knight in tarnished armor. The one who kept me grounded to this earth and the one who helped me soar. He would catch me every time I fell. We fought as fiercely as we loved and laughed even harder than that. He was my best friend, my fiercest competitor and my champion.
Cota Bear, I will miss you and love you until my dying day, when we will meet again.