Dappled sunlight and shadow filtered through the windshield with alternating warmth and darkness as we drove along the winding forest road. We were driving away from Point Reyes, another of my
sister's favorite places. We had walked along the beach taking in the calm Pacific and noisy seagulls; we were taking in life. We collapsed beside each other barricaded from the cool wind by our
warm bed of sand. The sun baked away time and space for me, leaving only that perfect moment as I held my sister's hand.
So, as we drove along that winding road, headed toward her home,it was hard for me to hear her say she really didn't want to live any longer. Sunlight and shadow, sunlight and shadow, curving road and an avalanche of pain. There were no words I could say that would not come from my own selfish motivation; live! Live for me! She told me she had not had a happy life. I wanted to scream, "What about the moments? There have been moments of perfect peace, perfect joy. Find those moments!" But instead, I just held her hand and listened. My sister cried and told me she was ready to die, life had made her weary.
And there it was and I couldn't make it right. I couldn't make the cancer disappear. I couldn't stand between her and the bully. I couldn't take away the past pain and I couldn't make my sister want to live. There were not enough pink ribbons in the world to fix this. Lesley would have to decide whether to fight to live or to die.
There is so much in life that is sunlight and shadow. I believe our job is to find some harmonious balance between the extremes. But when it all boils down, does it come to this: fear or faith? And if so, how do we make the journey to the other side? Does it take years to arrive? Or is it just a matter of walking through the door that has always been there, but until that perfect moment we were too blind to see?
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