The Last Road

Living every day like it's the last… because one day, it will be.

Let’s Remember

Posted by sabrinaremains on October 5, 2008

Last night, I switched with Kate so she could be with her husband at night, and I stayed with Rystefn at the hospital. He’s been getting weaker and sleeps more than he’s awake now.The doctor said they would try to make him comfortable. That’s not very secret code for they can’t save him or even help him to live longer. There’s nothing to do now but wait. I wish there was something else I could do. I’m very sorry to the people who wanted to send him cards and things. He told me not to tell anyone where he was. I don’t know why he made the choices he did. It’s not my place to say he is wrong or to go against them. I know you might have wanted to say goodbye, or to just spend time with him while you could. I’m very sorry. I don’t know if I could handle being in your shoes. It’s hard enough being in mine. Every day has been a struggle. A struggle not to bring people to see him. A struggle not to call Chelsea and beg her to talk to him. A struggle not to just lie down and cry forever.

I wish I knew how to make it right. I wish I knew how to help. I wish I could I could just make everyone happy. Wishing won’t make it so. If it did, I’d just wish him better. It’s easy to sit in your chairs a thousand miles away and write me angry emails demanding the things that you want. It’s hard to hold his hand and watch the man I love dying. It’s hard to tell his friends they can’t know where he is or what’s happening. It’s so hard, sometimes I do just lie down and cry because I can’t do anything else.

Please, please respect his wishes. I know you’re all worried and sad and maybe afraid. I’m all those things, too. I know you’re hoping maybe you’re the exception, or that he secretly wishes for people to go against what he said, or maybe you just think he’s muddled in the head and doesn’t really know what he wants. I don’t know about all that. I only know what he said, and I’ll do everything I can to follow that. He knew I would. If he wanted someone who wouldn’t follow his intructions, he wouldn’t have picked me to be in charge of this.

It’s hard for me to stand up for myself sometimes. I know this and probably some of you do, too. It’s a lot less hard for me to stand up for him. Sometimes I hesitate, and sometimes I doubt myself, but I won’t ever go against what he said. Asking me to is only making it harder on me. The only thing you’re doing is making me hurt more than I already do. He said not to tell anyone. He said he didn’t want people to remember him sick in bed. If you make a big deal of it, then you’re still going against his wishes. You’re making yourself remember this instead of the fun times. He’s doing this because he wants you to remember drinking, and singing, and kissing, and dancing, and laughing, and smiling… If you want to remember crying and arguing and fighting him through me, I can’t change that… but I don’t think you’re being a very good friend to him that way.

He wanted us to remember happy times. Maybe we should do that. I think we should. How about we all write something happy we remember about him? Maybe a story. Maybe a joke. Maybe something else. Something that makes you think of him and smile. I’ll start.

Did you know he saved a woman’s life once? Maybe more than once, but I saw him do it this time.

We were way out deep in the woods about an hour outside of Austin. A whole bunch of people having this camping event. So far out cell phones didn’t work or anything. We had this big fire and people were singing and dancing and drinking… you know how it is. This one lady was dancing and she stumbled and one of the other dancers bumped into her, and she fell into the fire. It was horrible. Everyone was freaking out and no one really knew what to do, and a lot of people had had far too much to be useful anyway.

That’s when Rystefn showed up. It was like something out of a movie. He started ordering people around around in that voice of his. “Get this, bring me that…” Then he picked her up and carried her off into the woods. We didn’t know what was going on or what had happened, or how to react. Some people tried to get back down the trail to where the vehicles were so they could drive back to where phones would work and call for help.

The next day, we found out what had happened from her husband. He had run two miles carrying her to get to the cars, then drove her to the hospital in town. Can you believe it? He tries to say that he only knew what to do because he was in the military, and anyone would have done the same if they were in the same position, but I know better. There were a lot of people there. Someone had to know some first aid besides just him. Everyone else just froze. And he hurt his leg years ago, too. Broke a bone that didn’t heal right. He can’t just run like that anymore. Cross country in the dark? I can’t imagine how much that must have hurt him. And he still says he’s a bad person.

Of course – he’d rather I told a story like this:

I was hiking through the woods and this bear rushed out in front of me growling and snarling, then Rystefn leapt out of the trees and ninja-kicked the bear right in the face, knocking it out in one shot. Then, only after, he saw me. He gave me a wink and said “That bear had it coming.” I tried to ask what he meant, but he only shrugged and said “She knows what she did.” Then we made wild, passionate love under the stars… I never saw him again, but I secretly yearn for his return.

See? It doesn’t even have to be true to work.


4 Responses to “Let’s Remember”

  1. SteveT said


    I’m up too late to think of anything clever to say right now. I’ll try again tomorrow.

    In the meantime, don’t beat yourself up! You’re doing something very difficult. You’re doing it VERY well! I respect the Hell out of you! You’re stronger than you know.

    Sending a hug your way.


  2. killyosaur said

    Sounds like you got stuck between a rock and a hard place to use that overused, but in this case, somewhat relevant cliche. I’ve never met him so I obviously know very little about the guy, apart from what I have read here and his comments, I think a series of stories from his life relayed by friends and/or acquaintances of his would be kind of interesting. If I had time and or a good inspired moment, I’d totally make something up, but I am currently lacking in that at this time.

  3. Kay said


    You are doing wonderful and like you said, that is why he picked you. I can only imagine how hard this all must be for you.

    I didn’t know Ry enough to tell a story, but I can tell you that he has inspired a story or two….. and he even encouraged me to write them.

    My thoughts are with you both.


  4. Kay said

    Oh, and I guess I should point out that he made me laugh a whole lot over at the skepchick forums… and laughter is always a good thing.


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