Our last moments.

I turn on this song, close my eyes, and see it. I see you, standing there, pulling me out of bed- giving me a memory that I cherish preciously.

Our last night together.

I was exhausted, painfully exhausted from another year of Adopt a Classroom. You tucked me in for a nap that afternoon and went back to your place to take a nap and hang out with your big brother. You told me you would be back in a few hours for dinner and to leave my balcony unlocked.

As I woke up from my nap, I began to grow weary, sad, and scared. The next day, we would say goodbye to each other for 10 days and I was dreading it. I hated saying goodbye to you, I wasn’t good at goodbyes, I wasn’t good at being apart from you.

I was always told you that when you would leave for a basketball trip that I was scared it would be the last time I saw you. I would shed a few tears, you would wipe them off my face, and promise me that you weren’t going anywhere.

People probably think that’s crazy, that I’m crazy. They probably think that I should be okay being apart for a few days, that crying from being away from you is ridiculous. People think that, but you never did.

As I laid there waiting for you to climb up my balcony, my heart began to skip and race as I heard the shuffling of chairs outside. I heard your feet hit the roof as you jumped and pulled yourself up. I heard you climb over the rail, and as I pretended to be asleep so you would crawl into bed with me, I felt a smile form on my face. I felt anxious, knowing you were walking in.

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As you walked in the door, you walked over to my side of the bed, you gently “woke” me up, and you said “Babe, come here.”

I looked at you and said, “Babe, I just woke up, come cuddle with me.”

You grabbed your phone and as I got impatient waiting for you to get off of it, you played this song. You grabbed my hand again and said,

“Babe, will you dance with me?”

I looked at you like you were crazy, and you said, “Babe, please,”

As I got up and lifted my feet on top of yours, I felt you pull me close, I felt you kiss me, and said,

“Babe, I promise I will always be here, I will look after you.”

You said,

“This song is from me to you and I know the next 10 days are going to be hard, but we can do this- you are stronger then you know.”

As I stood there in silence, my head on your chest, I looked out my window- I saw the white Christmas lights draped around my balcony and I thought to myself that I am so in love with this man.

After we danced for a few more songs, we grabbed dinner and went back to your place with your brother. We watched Gone Girl, had some wine, and you asked me to put my computer away, to put Charleston Hope away, and to just spend time with the two of you.

Babe I’m so glad I listened to you.

That night, we fell asleep on the couch draped in each others arms. You woke up in the middle of the night, kissed my head, and said,

“Babe, go to my bed, I’ll sleep here.”

I cuddled up to you, laid my head on your chest, and said,

“I don’t want to go anywhere, its our last night for awhile, just hold me.”

And you did. All night.

The next morning your car was broken and you had to stay until the end of the day. As the three of us grabbed breakfast- we took our last selfie together, I’m not sure why we chose to take a selfie, or where David was, but..

Babe, I’m so glad we did.

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After I went to work, we met up for dinner. David and I got chicken and you went next door to get pizza. Your brother and I made small talk, both looking out the window, waiting for you to get back.

As we ate, I knew what was coming after our last bites were taken- a goodbye.

We walked across the street to our cars- hand in hand and tangled up in each other. We talked about Christmas, Adopt a Classroom, and how much we were going to miss each other.

Still to this day, David has no idea why he took these pictures.

I’m not sure if you ever saw them or if you ever noticed- but babe, look at the light above you. Look at the light on your side- look at you walking into the light, heading home to Chicago but really heading home to the Lord a few days later.

As we pulled up to the AAA in West Ashley to get your car from the shop, you and David got out to clean stuff out of one car and put it into the other. I’m not sure if you know this, but while you were doing that, I was crying- I didn’t want you to go.

As I said goodbye to David, you told me to get in the car so we could say goodbye and David went to his to wait on you.

You got in the passenger seat, looked at me and said-

“Babe, it’s going to be okay, I promise.”

I looked at you and as tears filled my eyes, you pulled me onto your lap and cradled me like a baby.

I’ll never forget it.

As you held me and I cried, I looked up to kiss you again and there you were- sitting there staring out the window with a tear rolling down your face.

I wiped and off and said,

“Babe, I love you so much and I will be there in 10 days, we can make it.”

You looked at me and said,

“I know baby, I hate leaving you. I hate missing out on 10 days here with you. We’re going to be okay, I’m not going anywhere.”

As we gave our final hugs and kisses, you got out and as you walked away, heading towards the car, I rolled down the window and said- “Babe wait, one more!”

You came to the window, stuck your head in, grabbed my head and gave me our very last kiss.

—–

Although we had a week after these moments of facetiming, phone calls, and constant conversation- the last time I heard your voice, will never come close to the very last time I saw you.

The way you held me, affirmed me, kissed me, and loved me is what has carried me.

Little did I know that saying goodbye to you for 10 days, a year ago from today,  meant saying goodbye to you for the rest of this lifetime.

Little did I know that those tears the fell from my cheek, weren’t just tears of saying goodbye for 10 days, they were tears saying goodbye to you for the rest of this lifetime.

Our final moments in each others arms were perfect to me. They were raw and real and authentic. They meant something, in fact, they meant everything.

 

 

 

“There now, steady love, so few come and don’t go
Will you won’t you, be the one I always know?
When I’m losing my control, the city spins around
You’re the only one who knows, you slow it down”

 

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5 thoughts on “Our last moments.

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  1. Emily, you don’t know me and to be honest I only knew Chad for a few months. He was in my Bio lab group the fall 2014 semester. I’ve followed your stories about you and Chad since I found out he passed away. I think our friendship was unique in that I was a huge sports fan, as was he… Which I’m sure that you knew. He talked about you often, we sat next to each other in lab and every opportunity he would get, he would talk about you and how amazing you are. I felt the same way about the relationship I have with my boyfriend. A lot of our conversations started with sports and veered to me asking how you were doing and he would in turn do the same. He talked about what a big heart you have and how much he adored you, admired you, and loved you. He was always full of laughs and could always make everyone smile. The last real conversation I had with him I met with him in Addlestine library to help him go over everything that we would be presenting with our lab group for our final. I was flustered and upset, my boyfriend was living in Boston and I was having a hard time with him not being here. He recognized that I was on the verge of a melt down, and he told me that “God on gives us what we can handle”. That has never rang more true. I want you to know that even though you don’t know me personally, you have me in your corner always. Keep moving forward and know that your stories really have touched my heart, and that I am so proud that I was given the opportunity to have known Chad.

  2. Emily I always feel your pain when I read the things you write. I love you so very much. You are my HERO. you really are. The last time I talked to Chad was on wrap night. He said ” I am going home for Christmas. This is the first time I have been home for Christmas in three years”. I think about that a lot. He went home to be with the Lord and wait for you..

  3. Dear Emily,

    I know I haven’t seen or spoken to you since high school. Probably during a game when we’d lay our hearts out on the court. Always filled with emotion, passion, and maybe some attitude. Haha. But all in the spirit of competition and pride. (I always respected that about you.)

    Like I said. It’s been years since I’ve seen or spoken to you. I just happen to be up. I can’t sleep. I don’t even get on Facebook much anymore. But since I can’t sleep I’ve just been scrolling scrolling scrolling. And I found you. An old high school basketball rival who I barely got to know. And now I find myself literally weeping at your story.

    Idk how I even knew you were in a serious relationship. But I did. And it’s very clear to me. Maybe through Instagram pictures or something. But I know for sure I had seen pictures of you and your boyfriend many of times thinking “wow they are still together” or “wow they look so in love” and “wow she looks so happy.” A lot of times you can’t believe what people write on Instagram and pictures can be deceiving but after reading this post I know without a doubt all of the thoughts I had seeing pictures of you and your boyfriend were real. I’m so touched. I’ve probably spent an hour Facebook stalking, seeing all the things you’ve done with Charleston Hope and The #ChadEffect and I’ve never respected you more.

    I feel so proud to even have just played basketball with a God fearing, loving, special girl like you. Truly anointed. I’m not sure why God does what he does. I’m not sure why the love of your life was taken from you but I can see already it has and will continue to make you an even better person. I feel that you posses the capability to change lives. And that’s a special thing. How rare you are.

    I’ve never experienced loss of this kind, but having lost a best friend due to a tragic accident I know your pain is equal if not greater than it was a year ago. I pray God keeps you strong and reminds you of your purpose. I pray blessings over you and your family as well as Chad’s during this difficult time.

    I really felt moved to write this to you. And I hope I haven’t overstepped in any way possible. I just had to let you know that I really admire your strength and everything you’ve been doing with your non profit and keeping Chad’s spirit alive. I never met him. But I can feel the love you had for him and the impact he had on yours and others lives. I hope to encourage you and let you know you’re really reaching people through your story. And I hope you continue to do so and impact even more lives than you have already.

    God Bless,

    Kayla (from Porter Gaud)

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