The dreaded call came this afternoon. Just before I was to have supervision at our clinic, Cameron called me to say she had talked to Priestess. As I stood in that lonely upstairs room, darkened by threatening storm clouds, Cameron said she had just gotten off the phone with Priestess. Determined to hold herself together, and to be strong for me, Cameron said that Priestess was about to meet with the palliative care/hospice team to determine best care for Truth Teller.
This once strong, beautiful man with graceful fingers and keen insight lies in a hospital bed, dependent on dialysis. He is missing seven fingers. Gangrene proceeds its way up his leg. Emaciated because his body cannot digest food, he is in agony and drugged to the point of having hallucinations. No wonder he could spirit walk.
Two years ago Cameron and I witnessed his second handfasting with Priestess. Knowing he would not live out a normal life expectancy, they promised to find each other again, vowing: "Around the wheel and down through the years." Tears came to my eyes.
Later, Cameron, Hermit and I witnessed Priestess' croning. Priestess asked to break with tradition and have her husband there. But he couldn't come because Truth Teller was ill that night. Other circles, other nights, other joys and other pains. Priestess and Truth Teller always had a place on the back porch for friends.
When I was so wounded that I decided all men were scum, Truth Teller's presence offered a safe friend. When I needed to learn to reconnect with men who had honor and love to offer their friends, he was there. When I needed a camera to take to my son's wedding, he had one. When I needed money to care for a puppy, he was there. When I needed to hear what I wanted to deny, he was there.
Tonight I will gather earth from garden. I'll draw a spiral in the earth and I place a lit candle in the center. May Truth Teller follow his path home to the summerlands. May he know we all honor him with perfect love and perfect trust.
So mote it be.