It began on a magical night beside the river Thames… or so my mother tells me. There was a twenty-car pileup and my parents were stranded in the fallout as her labor gained momentum. By sheer dumb luck, there was an OB three cars up and one to the left. An hour later, I came screaming into the brightly-lit night beside the blackened river, with all the lights of the city twinkling in its eyes, and beyond it, St. Paul’s gleaming like something out of a fairy tale. “The whole world was alight,” Mom used to say. “There was magic in the air.”
It’s been a good run since that night. I don’t regret a moment of the twenty-three years I was given. We all knew my run was going to be shorter than most, although I admit I wasn’t prepared for it to be quite this brief. Still, I’ve made the most of the moments. I’ve learned, I’ve loved, I’ve given my all.
And tonight, it will end, at the far corner of the world, in a place where no created light has ever shone. I feel my smallness here, beneath the dark skies and the deep silence of the back country. I can feel it coming, death spreading its fingers out from someplace deep within. I rest my head on my husband’s shoulder, our sleeping bags zipped together and our fingers threaded together. There’s nothing to say, only one last moment to embrace as we gaze up at the stardust slung across the heavens like a thick carpet for me to tread on my journey into eternity.