These will be my last words.
My doctor thought I wouldn't last through June. I believed him for the most part, why wouldn't I? - but I sensed a hedging within me when he said this, a reluctance to obey. I am still here.
But not for long. The doctor who tosses up his hands isn't quite sure now when I will depart but I can sense that it will be soon. Tonight, perhaps. It would be nice if it was tonight. I've always wanted to die in my sleep.
Clarissa is writing this for me and we just had to stop for a moment so she could complain about my choice of words. She is done complaining. Off we go again.
Lauren used to tell me I was a woman tethered to my regrets. She doesn't say that anymore. I don't think I am the same woman I was when hired her to transcribe Mercy's diary. I waited a long time for someone like Lauren to give the diary to. Deep down I think I knew that when I did find that someone, when I was finally able to let the diary go, I'd finally be able to let go of a lot of things.
I don't hate my father anymore for his manifold unkindnesses to me. He missed my mother.
I don't hate myself for marrying Edward Swift. I missed the father I wished I'd had and the man I wished I'd married.
I don't hate myself for not loving Graham enough.
I don't hate anything more.
I've discovered that there are things you carry with you into the world beyond this one. Everything that resides in your heart makes the journey with you. I don't want to make the crossing with hate in residence.
I've tried to thank Lauren for her part in my coming to this place. She is always trying to minimize the difference she has made in my life. I suppose it is too much to consider how things would have turned out if she had not answered the ad. I realize now she almost didn't. And she cannot bear to consider that. And I would not be the same person had I not met Clarissa, had not opened this crypt of a home to these girls. If Lauren had not answered the ad, I would not have met either of them. And who knows what might become of Mercy's diary, then? What would have become of all of us?
Clarissa has left the room. She needs a minute. I think I can finish this on my own. Yes, I think I can.
I leave you with this: Zora Hurston, writer and anthropologist, penned this. I read it some time ago and forgot it for many years: "Love makes your soul crawl out out from its hiding place." Our crooked souls are bent on hiding until we understand how beautiful it is out from under the rock which we think protects us, but in fact, presses us into the dust.
I see that now. It is beautiful here in the vastness. It always has been. I just had my back to it. God in His mercy, and oh how extravagant is mercy, waited for me to crawl out of my hiding place and see it for myself.
How strange to think people will say I died in my sleep. I will wake in my sleep.
I am ready.