“I’ll be your feet if you’ll be my wings,” he offered, as he pushed her wheelchair through the premises of the spiritual center where they had met the day before.
*
Everything was new and foreign to him when he entered the music room to participate in a choir rehearsal. He still hadn’t noticed the woman, sitting in a wheelchair behind him, when the first song started. She sang the lead part in “I Believe I Can Fly” and her voice immediately shook him. Never before had he heard a voice like that! It seemed simultaneously majestically powerful and highly sensitive, liberating and disciplined. It made him want to cry and laugh at the same time. It was unbelievable! It was an angel’s voice! It was love at first sound!
*
She soon told him why she was in a wheelchair. When she was 25, she was a professional singer in a jazz band. She was young, talented and beautiful, but also unhappy and hopelessly addicted to alcohol. After a drinking night, she had a violent car accident while driving home. Her spine broke and she barely survived.
*
Many months later, she returned to singing, but something had changed. The closeness to death had opened up an interest for spirituality. She entered AA, read everything she could on the topic, and finally ended up at the spiritual center where they met. By then, the old yearning to get drunk was totally gone and she was radiating peace and happiness.
Her spiritual dedication was as attractive to him as was her voice.
*
Four years later, when they were slowly driving home from the last appointment with her oncologist, she turned to him and quietly whispered, “The years with you were the best part of my life.”
*
The doctor’s guess was three months, but less than three weeks later she quietly and imperceptibly left. He had lit a candle in the early evening and was going to sit down by her bedside, when he discovered that she was gone.
Finally, she had her wings and could fly, free from wheelchair, disability, and pain.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Whew, this is such a tear jerker Christer. The start was so uplifting and I loved the line ‘It was love at first sound!’ I never saw the end coming, was enjoying their happy ever after and then… But although feeling his sadness, there is joy that they met and found happiness and that she is now free from all that weighed her down. You captured all these emotions so well in your story and I loved it.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Oh Christer, this makes your story more poignant than ever. I can imagine how hard it was to write but how worthwhile to have put it down in words. I’ve tried several time to write about a period in my life that happened 30 years ago but still haven’t got there. I read your story now with new eyes that are welling up. How lovely that she whispered those words to you before she passed. These are what we hold onto. Thank you so much for sharing.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Sometimes it’s quality not quantity. Only four years together but the very best years and over-riding the sadness at her passing is knowing she is no longer feeling pain. I feel certain she will be with him in spirit forever. A beautiful story, Christer!

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Oh Christer, I just read your reply to Linda. I didn’t realise just how close to you this story was. You must miss her very much but I’m sure knowing how much you contributed to the ‘best’ years of her life, and she to yours, and knowing she is no longer in pain, is a little comfort in your loss. I’m glad you could write about it and thank you for sharing it with us  ? 

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hello again Christer, this is a difficult story for me to comment on, especially with it being so tender and personal to you. The moment she said that ”The years with you were the best part of my life”. For me that was the moment she grew her wings and found her freedom. Thank you for sharing Christer.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

I think I can speak for everyone in our writing family, and say that we are honored that you trusted us all enough to share your most precious and sensitive memories. Many of us have indeed become close friends, supportive and caring.

As for breaking any unwritten rules, I don’t think so. I think one unwritten rule is that we should all assume a story to be fiction and not autobiographical unless the writer tells us otherwise. When a writer does tell us otherwise, it is a gift to the community.

Your story is so beautiful – tender and touching – and inspires us all. Thank you, Christer.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Christer, it is so true that we give power to the words we write, but words become much more than words when they come from the heart and the soul of the person.

We also receive words in the same manner, so we come to know!

And as you pointed out, we become friends through and by what we write, we say – this is who I am. I always saw myself sitting in the early hours with you debating, exchanging ideas on a host of topics, for I recognise the thinker in you.
So the simple answer to the question you ask….No you didn’t, and there are no unwritten rules, and I know that you did not make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Last edited 1 year ago by Eric Radcliffe
Danielle Burke
Danielle Burke(@danielle-burke)
1 year ago

You covered a lot of years between the couple here and did so seamlessly.

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Brigitta Hegyi
Brigitta Hegyi(@brigitta-hegyi)
1 year ago

Beautiful and sad at the same time. I wanted to write my story about a girl, in a wheelchair, who is watching the birds flying and wondering how it feels to be free. Your story brings tears to my eyes, it must have been hard to write about this.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

I was moved to tears by your story, Christer. But on the other hand, I’m happy with their love story – about how they met and find happiness. Thank you for sharing this one, Christer.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Yes, you are right Christer.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Christer, this is all the more poignant to read after I’d read your comments with Linda. It is a beautiful, bittersweet memory that you’ve shared and I feel honoured to have read it. She went through so much, but at least you gave her the same joy as she gave to you. It takes courage to share painful memories and you’ve done it with such great sensitivity and compassion. Thank you for sharing.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 year ago

Wow! This is indeed a sad story and a tearful one. I love the plot. It’s one of the best short dramas I have read. Well done, Christer.

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Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 year ago

Oh! I just read some of the comments and realised it was a personal experience. Oh! Am so sorry for the loss. It’s a good thing that you’ve
gotten over it. Thank you, Christer for sharing something upclose and personal.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 year ago

I read through the story again. What is the meaning of AA?

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