X- “HER VIKING “- Chris Ritchey
The bitter sweet memory of an October day – the 3rd- one year ago , we all had gathered to see you back off to Texas- exactly two months later and you would be gone from us for good – the picture taken on that day used in your obituary.
We had gathered at Nikki and Jim’s – Nana, Uncle, Misty, Dad and I – you and Jim were leaving to drive the truck back to Texas and I would fly down to make sure the apartment and food etc was ready and waiting for you.
Nana hadn’t seen you in weeks, she didn’t recognize you at first, your hair had come back but dark and you had a goatee. She looked at you standing by Nikki’s large windows overlooking the woods and said
Oh! Chris you look just like a Viking, and that is how I am going to think of you as MY Viking.
That was the last time Nana saw you– that is how she remembers you. She clings to that memory, she was trying to put on her “footie” with some difficulty, you noticed, when others didn’t, bent down and without a word helped her slip it on. That last gesture of love is what she remembers.
Two months later , as you lay hooked up to that vent and the sun shone on your face , your beard had continued to grow – I thought, as I saw the red gold shimmer on your cheek that December day, you truly could be a Viking, in looks and courage.
I had sat in that folding chair by your bed for so many hours that my legs had swollen to twice their size, I was so tired Chris and so full of despair, my brain seemed numb like I was on some drug- heavy and wooly headed. I felt like I was breathing and living underwater everything was so surreal and still is. I didn’t know how much longer I could sit there – but I was frightened to leave you as information on your condition had been witheld from us in the hours before. I needed to be with you but my body too was breaking down and then you slipped away silently with love.
I WATCHED YOU SUFFER- A DULL ACHING PAIN
and WILD HORSES………..