Cindy Love took her last breath 4 years ago today. She died at 10:00 pm. Miraculously I was with her when she left. I say she ‘left’ because that is what it seemed like to me. That is what I witnessed.
The nurse called Bonnie the night before and said ‘it was imminent.’ Bonnie went to Cindy’s nursing home immediately and stayed with her all night. When Bonnie called I was in bed and could not leave. Neil was out-of-town till the following night and Jake was home. Hannah was in Germany at the time. I knew I would not be able to see Cindy again before she died because I couldn’t go across the state with my husband gone. There wasn’t time.
I didn’t sleep much that night. Cindy was still hanging on in the morning. I think I was in shock at the time knowing that Cindy was dying. Even though I went about my normal routine I was quite separate from it. While I was in a class I was teaching I mentioned that Cindy was dying. A woman asked me incredulously why I was teaching and it hit me that I had to leave. I didn’t even finish the class.
I arranged so Jake could be picked up and had somewhere to go till Neil got home that night and got in my car and started to drive to Titusville, which was where Cindy’s nursing home was. I don’t know how I made it there. I made so many wrong turns and was caught in construction traffic. It seemed to take forever. On a good day it’s a seven hour trip for me. All during the drive I kept asking Cindy to wait for me. I kept talking to her and telling her how much I loved her. I so wanted to be with her and say goodbye.
I got there around 5:00. My parents had come and gone and Bonnie and Mary were still there. Eventually Mary left and we convinced Bonnie to go as well. She had been there all night and day. It was 8:00 when they left. And Cindy was still holding on.
Though she never opened her eyes and did not respond to me in any way, I believe with my whole heart she waited for me to come, and, she waited for Bonnie to leave before she died. You see Bonnie was her best friend, greatest ally and strongest advocate. Bonnie loved Cindy more than anyone. I can say that with total certainty. Cindy was like the child Bonnie never had and Cindy was her child for 57 years. She always gravitated to Bonnie and somehow knew that Bonnie and she were to become partners in life no matter what came into Bonnie’s life. And they were partners, soul and body sisters. They shared the same heart.
Two hours after Bonnie left, Cindy took her last breath and was carried away by angels. I saw her go. I saw her being carried up and away and it was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever witnessed. It was sacred. She was carried up and back out of her body. I could see it happening and I saw that she was being drawn upward and back away, out of her physical self. I believed angels were whisking her very delicately into a lightness of her being that I long to understand.
I know Cindy wanted to be with me before she left and I know she wanted Bonnie to be away when she did. Don’t ask me how I know this but I do. Cindy waited for me to come and she waited for Bonnie to go. She was patient, even in her final hours she was patient.
Here is a picture that is quite sad and beautiful at the same time. It reveals the absolute love Bonnie felt for Cindy her entire life. The other picture is the four of us, sisters, in Cindy’s room at the nursing home.
Cindy was surrounded by love. We surrounded her. Bonnie enveloped Cindy throughout her life with love and Cindy gave all of us a kind of love that is shared by very few. It was precious, unique and absolutely pure.
I miss Cindy. I miss the love she so freely gave every moment I was with her. She was my sister and she was my savior. She showed me what it means to love and she proved that love is the most transformative power in the world. I know there is a force much greater than myself that I can not understand. That force lived in Cindy and her life was a gift to me. Her life was an example of how love can heal the most wounded souls and soften the hardest of hearts. And Cindy continues to live in every moment of my life where love lives. She is here as a reminder to open every part of me to give and live and be who I truly am,
a woman who lives to love.