Why can't I make time stand still?
The hopeless plea filled her mind as she placed a trembling hand upon his chest. Tear filled eyes looked to the life support machine by her husband's bedside. The mechanical hiss of the pump raised his chest then let it fall with an exaggerated click.
The intrusion of tubes and wires defiled the once strong, handsome man she'd fallen in love with twenty years ago in a life full of heady days exploring everything life had to offer and sharing secrets together.
His hands lay unmoving and limp. A life, a home, a family he had built with these hands. Hands that had tenderly held her through times of great sadness, lifted her when she needed it most, and caressed her when the moon and stars bathed their skin. Now her fingers urged his to respond.
"Are you ready?" the doctor's voice seemed distant and hollow.
Tears rolling, she nodded, clutching her husband's once strong hands.
The doctor flipped a switch and turned off the life support machine.
The nurses disconnected all the tubing and wires in silent reverence and quietly left the room. Only the doctor remained.
She raised her husband's limp hand to her lips and kissed it, then lowered her head onto his chest one last time and hugged him, tears flowing freely, "I'll see you soon, my love."