You see, nothing is written in stone, neither is everything black and white. There are shades of grey.
I had it all sorted out.. I'd be a teacher, I would have 2.5 kids, a husband that loved me dearly, I would only work if I wanted to and oh yes I did.. want to.
A white picket fence, bar-b-ques, P.T.A.. I even had the name of the kids picked out, Robert for my boy and, Michelle for my girl, life would be perfect. I never found out, I opted out of the perfect life for a much more exciting one.. they were there, they had to be conquered.. The white caps, beckoned to me, the dizzying heights called my name, the cold lured me, seduced me like a silent lover and I had to go..
As I sit here on top of the mountain.. I allow myself a moment of free thought, dangerous free thought.. Just a moment to contemplate a different life, a more.. quiet life, the life I had originally picked out for myself. I smiled and my lip cracked. A quiet life, yes, with him.. I wondered what he was doing right now, right at this moment.. Could my thoughts reach out and touch him? Could he feel a connection, right now?
How I wish I would have spent that last night with him, that was all that he asked, just to spend those few hours with me.. but I was busy, I had to get ready, I had to be prepared.. yes I had to be prepared, to sit here on top of the world, freezing. I thought about his warm body, the nights we had shared in front of the fire.. just touching, not speaking, enjoying each other as much as two human beings could.
Now, I couldn't feel my thighs, my legs, my feet.. I could see them, I knew they were there but, no matter how much I willed it, there was no sensation.. However this was bliss compared to the stinging pain of the freezing process.. I watched the stream of breath coming from my nostrils and judging by what I was seeing.. I think there were only seven breaths per minute of course, I could be wrong. It could be hallucinations.. My hands were purple, I had taken off my mittens a while ago, don't really know how long.. and then, I couldn't get them back on.. My head hurt.
Survival.. the idea was fine but, even with all my skills and all my preparations, I knew this was not an option..
I remember a riddle one of my college profs gave me.. he said..
"A man is in the forest, he comes to a clearing, stepping into the center of the clearing he finds himself surrounded by ravenous wolves.. he has no weapons, no scraps to throw the creatures and he cannot outrun them, what does he do?"
Well now, we all waited for the answer to this one.. we thought about all the things this man could do... the most popular answer was pray. And then the prof answered, so very eloquently he said..
"by all means pray, then accept what is inevitable."
Closing my eyes, tired, sad, cold, numb, beaten.. I accepted.. what was inevitable..