It’s been eight years to the day since Simon had passed away. Ruth was sitting outside a restaurant by the beach, in a town on the Sunny Coast of Spain, thinking back to that very day.
The sun had hardly risen over the horizon when she heard a big thump in the kitchen. At first she had thought nothing of it; it was probably just Simon dropping something. He had been getting a bit clumsy lately, constantly dropping things. Ruth put it down to old age. After all, they weren't youngsters anymore, even if they weren't all that old either, at least not in their own minds.
After a few minutes she noticed the silence. Normally, she would hear his slipper dressed feet lightly dragging in short steps over the floor, a cupboard door opening or closing, water running or even heavy sighing going on. But there was nothing. Only silence. Ruth called his name, but the only answer she got was more silence. She called again, a bit louder this time. Still nothing but silence.
Ruth rolled over on her side, to get in position to get out of bed. Even in her worry she noticed the smoothness of the clean, crisp sheets she had made the bed with only the night before. She put her feet over the edge and got up to a sitting position. She stopped for a few seconds to catch her breath before she called out her husband’s name yet again.
There was still only silence echoing her call.
Normally his name felt like fresh peach juice in her mouth; sweet, full and tasty, but at this particular moment it tasted more like sour grape fruit juice. Tart and nasty.
Ruth used her strong will, and her love for the man she had spent the last 41 years with, to get up walking. She had an urge to run, but the complications after her hip surgery, made it impossible. When she reached the kitchen door she stopped, took a deep breath, and braced herself. She knew, but yet she had no idea, what to expect. For a split second Ruth felt confused.
Simon was on his back on the floor, blood slowly running from the left corner of his mouth, he didn't move a muscle, but his grey eyes moved to look at her face, searching for her eyes.
- Simon! Ruth screamed. - Oh, Simon!
She felt tears rising through her body, all the way from the pit of her stomach. She fell on her knees, hip completely forgotten, and gently caressed his cheek. She looked straight into his eyes and all her fear and sadness suddenly left her. All she felt was the deep love she had for this loving and caring man. She remembered the sparkle in his eyes the time he had brought her that ticket to go see her favourite band live; and the love and fear in them when he had gone down on one knee after that very concert to propose to her. She saw the love for her, for their three children and the joy of their grandchildren. She saw all the laughs and tears they had shared. The good times and the bad times. She saw their whole lives together. She saw it all in his eyes. She felt it deep within.
- I love you with all my heart and soul! Ruth said quietly as she saw the life in those same, loving eyes go out.
Simon was gone. Just like that.
As Ruth sits there, remembering, she feels grateful. Grateful she got all those years with Simon. Grateful she had experienced true and deep love in her life. Grateful that Simon had died knowing her love for him. It’s been eight years, but it felt like 88. It wouldn't be too long now before she would join him, the doctors had said, but until then she was determined to enjoy life to the fullest.
Ruth took a deep breath, looked up at the warm, bright sun; smelled the saltiness of the Mediterranean Sea, and ordered a cold beer. As she took her book off the table she could hear the waves hit the beach, and the people around her talk and laugh. Life!
- Soon, Simon, soon! She whispered; and she smiled.
Written by Carina Lindberg