This is kind of hard to write, so please bear with me...
A couple that we've been friends with for a long time has a daughter, a young lady of about 25, who is dying of cancer. Yesterday morning the mother texted my DW that the daughter (I'll call her "D") had been taken back to the hospital; the cancer has metastasized and it's no longer treatable. Her digestion and kidneys are shutting down, so time is short. We both left work early yesterday so we could go visit her.
She was pretty out of it due to morphine when we got there, but over the next couple of hours she got herself woken up and became more lucid. A little back-story: Back when she graduated from high school, at her graduation party, she had asked my DW about our dancing. So we did a little waltz for her, and then I offered to teach it to her. She didn't think she could do it, but I explained it to her and after a few minutes we were doing a waltz box. I didn't realize it at the time, but it must have made an impression on her, because sometime between then and now she learned WCS and started dancing. She and her BF had moved to Iowa, so I didn't see her during this time.
She came back to the area a year ago, when her cancer was first diagnosed. They started right away treating her with an aggressive chemo and radiation program that sapped her strength. And over that time she got serious about painting and spent most of her free time doing that. I saw her a couple of times briefly during that period, but we didn't discuss dancing.
Well, yesterday, at the hospital, I thought everyone standing around was being kind of morbid. So when D asked for some ginger ale to wet her throat, I told her she should hold out for whiskey. That kind of broke the mood and pretty soon everyone was cutting up with her. Well, she wanted to see DW and I do some WCS. So we did an impromptu demonstration in the room for her and her friends, and we put in some of our sassier stuff. D loved that!
Then she stunned me: She wanted a dance. With me. One last dance. I didn't see how. But her BF and a nurse helped her get out of bed and onto her feet. We got into position and she gave me a surprisingly steady and confident connection. It must have been painful for her, but she didn't show it. I saw the light in her eyes.
And we danced. No music, just me counting the beat. We did some WCS basic sugar pushes. It actually felt good. She moved into me and we had good compression and push. We talked about tap-triple vs. triple-triple as we did it. She was still attached to all kinds of hoses and wires, so we couldn't do a pass or anything. But it was still a great dance, and she went for several minutes until she got out of breath. Then I helped her back to the bed.
I'm going to go see her again this afternoon after work. If she's able and wants to, I'll dance with her again, but I'm not sure she will be conscious. If not, then D, I thank you for the dance. It was definitely a dance I'll never forget.