It is only now, at the end of my life, that I realize the enormity of the gift he has given me. And as I look into his eyes, I try to tell him without words what our life together has meant to me.
His sorrow is an unfathomable abyss that he cannot rise above, and only by grasping the thread of my thoughts can he break through the churning surface of his grief.
My love, my sweet and funny farmboy?
I do not speak the words; I can only give them to him through the Force that binds us. My flesh is weak, too weak to heed the command of my spirit. But he hears the language of my heart as easily as he hears my voice.
I flinch as a sob chokes him; those broad shoulders are trembling as he tries to hold death at bay. But death does not cede to his wishes; it stands in waiting at my side, no matter how much he might rail against it.
His hand shakes as he brushes my hair back. The sweetness of his touch brings forth the wellspring of cherished memories I have of our life together. For just a moment my mind drifts back to the first time he loved me. I recall the fierce joy as our spirits and our bodies were joined together as one. Never have I ever felt so utterly connected to any other living being. I felt his breath as if it was my own; my heart beat within his body. Our minds were locked together so closely that I could not tell where I ended and he began. We were joined, one, inseparable.
I feel his grief and his despair rising up, threatening to rend his spirit to unrecognizable shreds. But I cannot let my love suffer this loss so deeply that he loses himself. My soul cries out to his, begging him not to mourn me so profoundly that our son grows up not knowing the light that is Luke Skywalker.
I hear a faint wail from the life we created together. It is as if he knows that soon I must leave him. He cries out and it lances through me. I?m sorry, little one.
Our son?he?s so small and young to be left without a mother in this universe at war. But he has a father nobler of heart and spirit than any who has come before. Ben is the son who was such an unexpected gift.
The Fates have given with one hand and taken with the other. So I am here on this bed where I gave birth to him just hours ago and wait for death to claim me. Life and death, each handed out with impartiality. Here is life; here is death. And here is love.
My love cannot be touched by the passage of time or the whims of fate.
I feel the fall of hot tears on my hand and I know that he is bathing my failing flesh with his sorrow. He cannot help it, though he knows how his tears dismay me. He flashes an apologetic glance of blue that pierces my soul.
His eyes have always been perfect windows to his heart. He is as devoted and righteous as he is stubborn and reckless.
He is not perfect, but he is perfectly my own.
I feel the swirling winds of grief rise within him. And for the first time, I sense the darkness waiting at the edges of his soul. Luke had once touched the Dark Side; he was acquainted with its cold embrace and shadowy promises. But never had I felt it clamoring for him, its insidious tendrils ready to claim him.
That I cannot allow. Luke is a creature of the light. He must not plummet over the dark precipice. So I try to gather my strength for one last time and tell him of all that our life has meant to me.
You completed me.
A sob shudders through him, his agony surging up and out. But I sense the shadows retreating.
You showed me that goodness and light truly exist.
Tortured blue eyes meet mine, asking forgiveness. He senses the peril and he does not care. Anything, he would give anything to change the path we walk.
My love, you have been the mercy that healed me.
He closes his eyes against my pleas. He teeters on the edge of that great abyss. I will not give him up to the darkness. He is mine, always and forever mine. He is the light.
Our son must be raised in the light, Luke.
His hands tighten on my own, seeking to bind me to this life, this mortal shell. How I wish I could heed his call! He tries to smile at me, even as his heart is ripped in two.
For me, Luke, do not give yourself up to the darkness.
My mind retreats back to the moment we realized that we would be parents. My fears almost overwhelmed me. But not Luke; he never dove into the dark waters that haunted me. He kept his eyes firmly on the sun above and sent that gleaming light upon those troubled seas. No matter what tempests raged in life he held true to the anchor of his faith in the Force. How sweetly he gentled the storms of my fears with the warmth of his hope.
I cleansed myself in his glow that day, washing away the terror. And now I give back the gift. I invoke the love that has sustained us and push the shadows back.
One last time, I dip into the essence of our love. I glory in the shimmering light that surrounds me, taking away my fear.
You gave me everything, Luke.
For one brief moment the shadows rise and dance about him. But the sun that has blazed for so long bursts forth in an astonishing flare of light and the darkness is banished once and for all.
I hold onto the anchor of his hand, staying in this world just a little longer.
He will grieve, and it will be without end or boundary. But he will not leave the light that is his destiny.
I love you.
I send the words to him one last time and then feel my soul gently float away, a mote spinning in the light, ever upwards.
Original cover by rhonderoo. HTML formatting copyright 2005 TheForce.Net LLC.