The first time I met Rick in person was at a local coffee house. We sat at a window table for two on a weekday late afternoon. Within ten minutes he asked if we could hold hands. I thought it was a little forward but extended my hand. Several times during our conversation he would look down and either give my hand a little squeeze or place his left hand atop my hand so he was holding my one hand in both of his. He liked holding hands or hugging family/ friends ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’.
The very last words I heard Rick say to me was “Terri, hold my hand. Hold my hand.” It was his last rally of energy and his words were very clear and direct. His niece Tianna and I were sitting on either side of his bed. He asked me to hold his hand then turned and asked Tianna to take his other hand. Nineteen hours later Rick peacefully took his last earthly breath.
When I thought back to the last words he spoke to me I felt comforted. And about two months later I came across pictures of our courtship and I remembered about us holding hands across the table when we met. I got this mental picture of a loop being formed. The love and life Rick & I built together -from his first earthly request to his last- it became an infinity loop. We were and still are so blessed.
(One of the last photos of me with Rick – when he didn’t want more than his hands in a picture. The dark lines on his nails from chemo. 2/15/2020, Big Sur)
Oh my! It really is a ‘Hands & Heart’ day for me. It’s just 90 minutes later and I just found the anniversary card Rick gave to me in January! He wrote of how he hoped the bonds we were forging through the fires of adversity would be an inspiration to the boys! I’m still feeling so much comfort and support from Rick. It’s quite incredible!