setembro 24, 2012

The Closing of a Cycle

The closing of a cycle

He sat there with weary eyes and a sullen face. He was the last person in that field and had asked everybody else to leave him there alone. That was the last thing he could do for her, wait and see the last grain of dirty be placed on top of her grave. He knew she was already gone, that there was no afterlife and whatever he was doing; he was doing it for himself. But sitting there and remembering those crazy last two months was all he could do.

They were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on their sailboat, as many times before. The storm would come but they knew what to do for it would not be their first storm. So they setup everything as it should be, stored all lose items, lowered all sails, closed all hatches. The storm came as any storm would wind, rain, thunderbolts, noise but quickly enough it progressed into a hurricane and everything started to collapse. His only memories were acknowledging the fact that that seemed to be their last storm and trying to make sure they would be able to leave the boat with enough to survive the storm. So they did, they got their protective suits, the first aid kit and the survival kit and were able to leave the boat before it capsized and sank - to this day he still can't believe they had been able to survive a hurricane with winds and waves that were able to crack his boat hull, but they did.

How many hours they spent in the water they he didn’t know, but it seemed like thirty hours or more. He couldn't remember how was it that they had lost their raft and everything inside it. Eventually they washed ashore in a small island, an island standing alone in the ocean, nothing to be seen for miles. They were alive for their suits were able to keep them from drowning and suffering hypothermia. He had hurt his left shoulder and that ached a lot. She had a swollen knee.

The island was not a bad place as they found out after the first three days. There was plenty of fresh water and fruits available and they could find shelter in a shallow cave that was well protected from the rain and wind. But they were concerned with how long it would take for them to be rescued for they had not been able to send an emergency signal before everything happened. But they knew that his son would start to look for them the next day after missing their routine communication and it allowed them to be tranquil and they took the wait as a little vacation break. Of course they made sure they could be found with some fire, smoke and visual signals.

But fate is not an easy fellow. On one afternoon as he returned from the creek with some fresh water, which had taken him only four minutes to fetch, he found her laying on the ground with the clear signals of a severe allergic reaction. He ran as fast as he could towards her and got to her while she was still alive. She was still able to look him in the eyes and hold his hands before she passed out and eventually died. He couldn't believe it, for she had no known allergies, and also for he knew that if they were in their home, or even in their boat, she would still be alive. He sat there holding her in his arms for the next thirteen hours. For thirteen hours he cried. For thirteen hours he cursed life. For thirteen hours he felt impotent. For thirteen hours he couldn't think of anything else than the hole in his heart. Eventually he got to his feet and started to dig a grave for her.

And fate again played with him. A raft came to the shore of the island and three men came to him. He eventually learned they had read about the disappearing of the couple and when they saw the orange suits hanging as flags on the makeshift poles on the beach they thought they should take a look. But that he only was able to understand some days later, for his initial reaction to seeing his rescue party was not that of normal people. He didn't wave his arms, he didn't smile, and he didn't run towards the men. All he could do was to go back to her body, take her in his arms and walk as slowly as he could towards the ocean. He couldn't explain what he felt on that moment, but it was a feeling that was worse than the one he had felt thirteen hours before. How could it be that she died hours before they were rescued? After 58 days in an isolated island. That had to be a bad nightmare. But he, unfortunately, knew it was not. That was a sad and wicked reality.

He decided it was time to leave the cemetery and go back home, there was no reason for him to stay there, she was not there, she was nowhere, and she was no more.

Eventually he got home and the decision was made, he had all reason to suicide for he had lost two loves already. Twenty years ago his wife died during labor and he raised his son alone for many years until he found his new love. And now that love was also gone. Both died in his arms and he couldn’t cope with that pain again. But he would not suicide, not right away. His son still needed him; his son was still his son, the only living person he loved. So his decision was he would only suicide when that father-son cycle was over. He would wait, no matter how much pain he would have to bear, until his son became a father himself.

Six years, two months and three days were gone and he was there, holding his grandson in his arms, the little boy looked at him and smiled, and that smile was the most beautiful smile he had ever seen. Not only beautiful, but also freeing, he didn’t have to wait a day longer; his suffering would end tonight.

He got home, separated all his antidepressants and anxiety pills, placed them by his bed and started to write a suicide letter to his son.....

“My son, my only love, I am sorry.
I know it is not a brave action to take your own life, but you have to understand that I have suffered enough. Losing the loves of your life, watching them die in your arms, being unable to help is too much for a person to bear.

I have fought through it twice and am tired of all the depression, the nightmares, the increasing doses of drugs, the pain in the heart. I am just too tired. You were the only reason for me to continue, and now I feel I can move on. You are a father yourself and you don’t need me anymore. The cycle is closed and I can now rest.

Again, I am sorry.

Know you are the one person I loved most during my life, you were the reason I kept going. I would do it all over again if it were for you. There is nothing is this world that gave me more joy, happiness and the feeling that life was worth all the pain that comes with it.

The one thing I know for sure after all these year is that I truly love you, have always loved.

Goodbye son!”

His son finished the letter and didn’t even noticed the river of tears that were flowing in his face at the moment, all he could do was to look up and ask, “But father, I don’t understand, you are here, you brought me your suicide note. Why?”

“I will tell you why my son. After I wrote it and read it all over again, there was only one thing I knew for sure, and that thing is that the letter was true, I LOVE YOU. And it being true I couldn’t do anything other than throwing all those pills in the trash and making sure I will love you every second of my life until the day comes that I die naturally.”

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