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Watching Beth, Part 3: Endings

After the last post I made, I got this great idea on how to best communicate with Beth. It is a “chronicle” of sorts. I got the first one sent off and began to outline several more.

I woke up Wednesday morning to the message that I needed to call the States when I woke up. It was urgent. I knew before the end of the message what I’d hear. She had a horrible last twenty minutes of life with the liquid morphine not even touching the pain. I would not have wished her death on anyone. Sweet sister of the music, you are gone.

I sit here in the stillness of my office and understand that we’d said our goodbyes, “I love you” to each other, and that there was nothing left to say.

I sit with the finality of what has happened and know that I’ll never call over to her again. I’ll never hear her strong voice again. The words of parting were said and I’m fine with it. Dear Beth of the sewing machine, goodbye.

A prayer for those of us left behind:

When I see a begonia, I’ll think of you.

When I eat pumpkin pie, I’ll taste it for you. 

When I run into the outrageous, I’ll react for you.

I’ll laugh, smile, and wonder at the fun you had. 

I’ll never be able to pull a better April Fool’s than the last one I pulled over on you. It was sweet. It was inspired pranking! You deserved it! 

We’ll never talk about ways to dress our feet.

We will never stand over our respective sinks eating pears that drip with the juice running down our arms. I’ll do this in memory of you each pear season.

I will always savor the two birthday cards you sent me here in The Netherlands. They were both gems. Each is special to me, and I will treasure them both.

You leave talented musicians behind. Your children have passed on the gift of music and now the family can really engage in the magic of playing music.

You’ve fought your last battle, and won. You didn’t lose to death—you won at life. You got out before you would have wound up in that bed you didn’t want to go into. You surrendered your body and soul and said goodbye. Good for you, sis!

I will miss you when I can’t call to sing you Happy Birthday. You won’t be calling here to see how I am.

As the sun sets and leaves the rose color in its closing act of the day, I’m thinking of the sunsets we witnessed on the beach. The days of our childhood when life was laid out before us, and now it has ended for you, Beth.

I can’t bring you back and I won’t, because that would be regression of the worst sort. I love you.

The lemons are now gone. It sucked while you were alive and in pain. I’ll replace the lemons with pears and apricots, just for you.

One last thank you that you’ll understand: Thanks for throwing the bash. It was unforgettable.

Love you, 


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