Don't let go

It came from nowhere.
A mighty gust of wind that came charging up the rocky headland we were standing on, right towards the unsuspecting frames of our small bodies. It was our last day in Port Macquarie. We had driven to Tacking Point to see Australia's 13th oldest lighthouse. 

You were standing alone on the crest of the hill, taking in the warmth of the late Autumn sunlight. Your eyes half-closed as you faced the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean, roaring beneath us. 

I often see this snapshot of you frozen in my mind's eye. 

Hoping that beneath the closed lids, you were lost in the reverie of good memories. A nanosecond of daylight overexposed on the moments that you made such a difference in my life, forever burnt into the frame of your 35mm film.

You heard my steps on the gravel as I lumbered my way up the hill towards you. It was at that moment, as you half turned to smile at me, that the wayward wind came barreling towards us. The lighthouse we had walked up to see suddenly tilted precariously to its side as we leaned, hard, into the wind. Afraid that if we lost our footing and toppled over, that wind would carry us like tumbleweeds right off the cliff into the rocks below us.

Yelling soundlessly at one another, no doubt screaming, "Oh. My. God. This is So CRAZY!", we instinctively stretched out our arms towards each other. Our long hair whipping frenziedly in a monomaniacally solo performance. 

As we staggered towards each other in this crazed zombie walk, the idiocy of how we looked overtook what remaining decorum we thought we had. Screaming with laughter, we eventually reached one another in an akimbo of flailing arms and utter hysterics. 

White knuckled, we gripped one another. Taking turns to brace for the other when the currents switched direction and its force weakened one of us. The other would dig their heels in and hold on for dear life. Knowing, we'll never let go.

When the wind, finally spent, took off in search of new playmates, we continued to hold on to each other. The death grip of survival softening to the tender remembrance of the sweet embrace we shared as little girls.

I don't know if you already knew at that time that it was going to be our last holiday together. But you loved me as fiercely at the end as you did at the start, pouring what love you had into my empty spaces.

That day, the wind took us by surprise. But it was you that have taken my breath away every day. 

It's been 8 years since I've held you in my arms. But I still feel you holding me in yours, whispering into my ear, "I love you".



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