Some of my favorite quotes are the definitive lines people have uttered before their deaths. I love the sincerity of summing up a life into a single expression or a collection of seemingly random words that fall from the mouth of someone before they’re silenced for good. Some people leave lasting impressions with their voices, while others leave us stumped and yearning for more.
My aunt was one of those people that could captivate you with only a few words. She always had something engaging to say, but did it so concisely that my mind was still spinning long after she stopped talking. She was my role model: a giver, a brilliant mind, my confidant, and a huge support system for me growing up. Her hectic work schedule didn’t allow a tremendous amount of down time, but she always made time to play card games and put together puzzles with me. She constantly made me feel valuable and loved through her actions and soothing voice.
So when my aunt was diagnosed with late- stage ovarian cancer, it broke my heart. She was dying before my eyes and there wasn’t a thing I could do to help. I never had a doubt she was going to make it through, because she was the strongest person I knew. The cancer had ravaged her body and mind in mere months. My family knew the end was near. The last time I saw her alive was a typical goodbye, but this time she was confined to a hospital bed. I kissed her forehead and told her I’d see her very soon. She slowly turned her head to meet my eyes and whispered, “Alicia, I want you to have a nice life. I’ll be with you always.”
Although I never heard my aunt’s gentle voice again, her words are always with me. Her words are in my heart, thoughts and actions every single day. Her wisdom courses through me as if she is still just a phone call away; it’s just a much longer cord now. My aunt’s last words to me echo in my thoughts from time to time, but they’re not the only ones. I wish I had more of my life to spend with her, but I know I’ll have her words forever.
What will your last words be?