Those are the words I left you with several months ago, as life intruded into my space. I fully expected you to leave me, as few are the faithful in the life of a writer, especially one about to publish the fateful and final chapter of an unfinished book.
This, however, is a very different book about a very different breed of women. This is a tale about the women who not only stand by you and stand up for you, but who stand at your side, when you are lost and need to be found.
This is a book about the Yard Yeti Women, a tribe unlike any other. These are the women who walk a separate path, only to find themselves meeting at the spot between the Left Brain and the Right, the cornerstone of Here and There, and at last see the light of Home.
For it is their combined light, their beacons in the dark, that when solitary, reveal only a corner of life’s possibilities, but together their combined candlelight burns up the sky into a streaming ray of eternal sunshine.
So no one was more stunned than I to find so many of you, from 44 different countries, patiently waiting for me to return. You will never know how much it meant to me to see you there, reading and rereading the Yard Yetis A Gardener’s Tale, Chapter by Chapter, over and over. Such endearing trust that I would return when able. That I would keep my promise as you kept yours.
It has been a long and spectacular journey and to you the faithful, I bring the final pages to light. It is, also, with great heartache that I do this without my biggest fan, my dearest friend of 45 years, my sister-in-law, Josephine, the heroine of Chapter 24. Not her birth name, but her Yard Yeti name. Last year she called me and asked when she would become a Yard Yeti. How could I ever tell her that it was she, not me, that had achieved such spectacular fame. For it was I, who walked along at her side all these many years, hoping to absorb only a tiny speck of her magnificent shadow.
So let us begin, the solemn yet joyous walk to the finish line. Hand in hand, until that moment when our fingertips no longer touch, but our hearts are forever intertwined.
It Was Just Another Day...A Day For the Birds....
I left you while the little birds remained in the nest. I stood watch each and every day, maintaining a respectful distance, with the beginning of an ending, looming nearby. Every day these little birds craned their necks and leaned out farther over the edge of the nest. Silently, I willed them to stay. To greet me with their tiny chirps and their feathery mohawks gleaming in the sun.
Ready to go. Ready to go. Anxious to leave. Eager to soar. One little birdie looked off into the distance with a yearning so intense, it made my heart ache. Letting go. Letting go I reminded myself, is the worst and the best all in one breath. And the time to let go, is never of our own choosing.
The clock is ticking and the minutes are slipping away through my fingers like honey through the comb and I cannot stop it. I cannot hit Pause nor Replay nor Rewind. I am stuck here in limbo with the stark realization that I control nothing. I cannot stop time. I cannot change the outcome. I cannot cheat Fate.
I can only sit and wait.
Wait and sit.
For the final grain of sand,
to slip out of the hour glass into my hand.
This is a death knell for an author. A wordsmith. Someone who turns the pages with a whim or a witty remark. This is that rare moment when the happy ending is out of reach. When the reality of the moment knows that the ending is final. Complete. Just as it is written by a hand that penned not only the opening chapter, but the final sentence, the period.
And everything in between is fashioned by a much higher power, though we may fight against it, with the mightiest of technology and studied care.
The best and the brightest cannot spare us this final day or hour or minute of breath. Instead, we stand, silently, in awe of the strength of human character and the fragility of the body. We watch the war rage as a spirit we adore, fights a tireless battle to stay here, within the family circle, despite the collapse of the organs necessary to survival.
As they breath, we too draw breath. As they struggle, we too wrestle with how far to go, how much to intervene. But at some point we surrender them to the power far beyond our ken, into the eternal space holding a place for our loved ones to enter.
Be ye a believer or not, at this moment, the longing for a life ever after beckons us in. For we cannot imagine our lives without this person, this precious soul, to be lost into the ether. This is not heart ache, this is beyond a skipped beat or a slowing pulse. This is the breath of life. And we are afraid, that without it, we too, will forget how to breathe.
Not only is the clock ticking, but we are moving. Moving ever closer to the head of the line. Oh, so ironically humorous, to, for once, not wish to be first, but prefer to be last.
And so as the night stars begin to pulse in place in the night sky,
I raise my eyes and ask for small favor.
May she go in peace and may there be a hand to hold,
as she slips from our grasp.
A hand to hold and to lift her up,
as she crosses from Here to There.
And please let there be hands to hold for those of us Here,
waiting in line, and longing for one more day, one more hour and one more minute.
May we be equally courageous and fighting to the finish line. May we stand tall in their shadow, ready and willing to seek a final breath, only when our number is called.
In the meantime, grant us wisdom and strength, to live heroic lives, enriching not only ourselves, but those in our midst, who have lost their way.
The Final Chapter...
Chapter 29...The End Of the Story...
The Yard Yetis A Gardener’s Tale...