Charles has been in the fight of his life, but cancer is the undefeated champion. He now lays quietly with his eyes closed while beads of perspiration tickle his forehead and trickle their way down his cheeks. His heart cycles incessantly in his chest and it answers to the beat of its own drummer. Oxygen moves frugally in and out of his lungs; the chemical element is like the forces of the sun and the moon that play among the tides of the ocean.
His beloved wife Rose, sits by his bedside. A look of defeat crosses her delicate features as beams of sunlight peek over her shoulder. They cast their brilliance on a creased wedding photo that she holds tightly between her fingertips; a happy event that now seems such a long time ago.
She leans over, kisses her husband’s cheek and whispers in his ear. Gently she pats his damp forehead with a handkerchief. It falls from her fingertips and suddenly catches on a puff of air as it floats onto his pillow.
She grasps his cold hand in hers. Her eyes fill with unshed tears as she bows her head in prayer. Slowly Charles opens his eyes and turns his head towards Rose. There is a sudden flash of recognition. He sighs and for a fleeting moment he knows he is not alone.