She woke up in the middle of the night because something was rustling around her hotel room. As she lay still, peering over the side of her bed, she spied a little mouse. Not wanting to scare the tiny creature, she waited patiently until it meandered off to another corner of her room. When safely out of sight, she left a trail of crumbled potato chips that led to the door, which she kept ajar so that this sentient being could peacefully find it's way out in the middle of the night.
This was one of the first stories Bethany told me when we met in Boston during one of her chemo treatments. I can't think of another human being who would be more concerned about the well being of a mouse then themselves, but she was. Her focus was not on the blood red doxirubicin being infused into her veins, she was thinking of the cleaning staff that might find her little friend and possibly hurt it. I have never in my life met a more gentle person than Bethany. What an honor it was to know her, to be with her as she navigated so gracefully through pitfalls and avalanches and tsunamis and tornadoes and so much more. For the past week, I have asked up into the empty universe, why her? But then I become grateful that she was born into all of our lives and that her voice, her smile, her accent, her goodness, her innocence, her laughter, her bare feet in the sand, her independence, her tenacity, her strength, and her hope can now become ours.