Last summer, when her adult son graduated from a university to start a second career, my long-time friend and colleague gave him a copy of Confessions of an Average Half-Vampire, as he had always had teenage-like energy and enthusiasm (and also enjoyed my sense of humor). He quite liked the book, so my friend bought him a copy of All in the Half-Vampire Family for a Christmas gift.
With the first book, she'd purchased it straight from me, so I happily signed the book to her son, who was a favorite of mine anyway. But With HV Family, my friend purchased the book from Amazon, and it was shipped straight to her house, so I hadn't signed it.
Her son was in town for the holidays and had intended to return home on January 6, but, on a whim, decided he needed five more days with his family. So, as he left his parents' home Sunday evening to go visit some friends, he put the book on the piano and told his mom, "Take that to school Monday and have Lisa sign it for me."
It was to be one of his last requests of her.
Very early Monday morning (January 7), he had a massive heart attack. His friends, the paramedics, and the hospital staff all tried to save him, but it couldn't be done.
By that afternoon, I was standing with his mother at his hospital bed, rubbing his arm and listening to the life support machines beep and whirr while we waited for the rest of his loved ones to say goodbye before they took him off the machines and let him go.
He was 33.
The family held a lovely celebration of life for him on Friday night.
Today, his mom came back to school. And she brought me the book to sign for him -- because what mother could ignore her son's final requests, even if they involved something as simple as a book?
I managed not to let the tears splash all over the page as I wrote.
I suppose this book may end up standing for many things you could not finish. Nevertheless, I will write the words on the page as you wrote on our hearts.