by Barbara Williams
Come, take my hand, the road is long. We must travel by stepping stones. No, you're not alone. I'll go with you. I know the road well, I've been there. Don't fear the darkness. I'll be with you. We must take one step at a time. But remember we may have to stop awhile. It is a long way to the other side and there are many obstacles.
We have many stones to cross. Some are bigger than others: shock, denial, and anger to start. Then comes guilt, despair, and loneliness. It's a hard road to travel but it must be done. It's the only way to reach the other side.
Come. Slip your hand in mine. What? Oh, yes, it's strong. I've held so many hands like yours. Yes, mine was one time small and weak like yours. Once, you see, I had to take someone's hand in order to take the first step. Oops! You've stumbled. Go ahead and cry. Don't be ashamed, I understand. Let's wait here awhile and get your breath. When you're stronger we'll go on, one step at a time. There's no need to hurry.
Say, it's nice to hear you laugh. Yes, I agree, the memories you shared are good. Look, we're halfway there now; I can see the other side. It looks so warm and sunny. Oh, have you noticed? We're nearing the last stone and you're standing alone. And look, your hands, you've let go of mine, and we've reached the other side.
But wait. Look back. Someone is standing there. They are alone and want to cross the stepping stones. I better go; they need my help. What? Are you sure? Why, yes, I'll wait. You know the way - you've been there. Yes - I agree - it's your turn, my friend - to help someone else cross the stepping stones.
Thank you for you all have each helped me to take that first step, across the stepping stones. Please don't let go, as I need each of you to help me cross.