There are many battles being fought, perhaps against cancer, perhaps something else. But what do you do when the time comes to stop fighting? And what do we do, those of use you must leave behind?
You want to fight, and you do.
And perhaps you even seem to turn the battle.
You start to believe, to really believe you can win it after all.
And then…a sudden thrust.
A jab from behind.
It strikes you unaware…unexpected.
Your eyes widen in surprise.
Your breath quickens.
You want to continue the struggle,
but against what?
The damage is done, and you know that.
It was a mortal blow.
There is no earthly science that can fix it,
Perhaps one day,
but not this day,
not for you.
And the enemy is beyond your reach.
No. You cannot fight.
You can only…accept.
It is an easy word to say,
falling from your tongue
with barely a breath of your waning energy expended.
But the thing attached to that word,
now that is a different matter entirely.
What does it mean, really,
to accept what is to come?
Can there still be fear?
Can there still be sadness?
Regret for things left undone?
If you say you accept your fate,
can that statement really erase all those feelings,
like the fireman rushing into the flames
for the sake of another,
are they merely set aside
for the sake of something more important,
a purpose greater than your own?
When a pebble on a mountain tumbles into the sea,
it leaves an emptiness behind,
a space that can never be filled.
Still, the mountain itself will not crumble.
Not all at once.
But what of that pebble?
Does it fade out of existence?
Or does it simply become a part of something new,
setting the foundation for another mountain,
one that will rise out of the sea
reaching endlessly toward the stars?
It might even be the pebble that does the reaching.
I, too, am a pebble.
Today, perhaps I have no choice
but to watch you tumble.
I can no more hold you back
than you can fight an enemy no mortal sword can strike.
But the day will come when I must tumble on behind you,
as other pebbles must tumble on behind me.
And as that new mountain rises,
I gain hope in knowing
it has been raised on pebbles like you,
with the wisdom,
and the heart to hold it firm.