The Final Good-bye
By Sissy (sissy@svs.net)

When her hand grew limp in his, he raised it to his lips, kissing it softly, then held it against his chest as he leaned over and touched his lips to hers one last time. He let out a deep shuddering breath, turned and left the room, never looking back.

Trivette started after him, but C.D. stopped him with a hand on his arm and as Trivette looked up into the old man's eyes, eyes that were swimming in tears as his own were, C.D. shook his head slightly, "No, Jimmy, not this time."

He walked out of the hospital, his mind numb, not thinking, not feeling, and climbed into his truck and drove out of the lot. And kept driving, not really aware of what he was doing or where he was going. When he stopped in front of the ranch house, he got out of the truck, walked to the barn and saddled Amigo, his eyes starting to fill with tears. He kicked Amigo into a gallop, then into a hard run, heading deep in to the hills. When the horse slowed to a walk, Walker slide off and began running deeper into the trees until he could run no more. Stopping at the edge of a river, he raised his face to the heavens and screamed. A scream that came from the bottom of his soul, echoing through the hills and trees that surrounded him. The tears came then as he sank to his knees. A flood that he felt would never stop. Finally, from exhaustion, he collapsed to the ground.

He had lost his Alex to the one enemy he could not fight and the pain was almost unbearable. They had been married a little over four years when Alex was struck down with that dreaded disease CANCER. That last night he had spent with her in the hospital and he had heard her mumble softly, just before dropping off to sleep, "No regrets, cowboy. No regrets." he very nearly did what he vowed he wouldn't do, and that was fall apart in front of her.

When he opened his eyes and sat up, he saw White Eagle sitting across from him, watching but not speaking. He crossed his legs, and opened his mouth to speak, but White Eagle motioned him to silence. "I cannot answer your question, Washo. I do not have the answers you seek." The old Indian glanced to his side, "Maybe the sweat lodge will help you to find the answers and put your heart to rest." He stood then, held out his hand to Walker, they both disrobed and entered the sweat lodge.

He sat cross-legged on the ground for a long time, tears filling his eyes and running down his chest. When he felt the hand on his leg he turned his face and looked into the eyes he thought he would never see again. In a whisper as soft as the wind, "Alex…"

"Shh … honey, I know this is hard for you and it breaks my heart for you to have to go through this. But remember the beautiful times we've had together, not the sad ones. When I met you, you gave meaning to my existence. I never knew that love could be so beautiful until I found you. Your presence made me feel whole. Your love filled the emptiness in my heart. "

"Alex, I don't think I can go on with out you…"

"You'll never be without me, darling, I'll always be with you in your heart and in Jessica. Now, you must think of our daughter. She will need you more than ever now and I know that you will be there for her just as you always were for me. You will be all right as long as you let her be your light into the future, darling. She is the spirit of our combined love."

"If I hadn't waited so long…" He felt her fingers caressing his face.

"Darling, please don't. You've always said everything happens for a reason, and we have to accept that. You've shown me what real love is. Jessica is the proof of that. You have always been there when I needed you. And I need you to be strong now for Jessica. Treasure her as you treasured me."

He felt her lips on his cheek then, "Live your life to the fullest, darling, for Jessica and for me. I love you, Walker."

He let the tears flow then, thinking of the love she had for him and the meaning she had given his life. He would never forget her, and vowed to live his life to the fullest for Jessica and for the memory of Alex.

The End