AN: Warning: Season 10 spoilers!

As you will soon learn, if you choose to read this, I am still suffering from writer's block.  I'm gonna post this one for fun, but it really is a pointless writing exercise for me…I don't know what is wrong, honestly…

When I Look to the Sky

I dust the small, red rag across the countertop, and watch as the dust and crumbs tumble into the adjacent sink.

Sighing I run the rag across the counter again, to ensure that I have cleaned everything to my standard.

I have to admit, that I have become lax over the years.  Children will often do that to you, you know.

Before we had children, I was a clean-a-holic.  It was a running joke between my husband and our friends.  I would clean when I was happy, when I was upset, when I was sad, when I was horny…

The latter never really sat well with my poor husband.

The children have long since gone…college, adulthood, parenthood…they've been swept away by their own lives, away from this house, and away from their parents.

I still don't clean like I used to.  Old, creaky joints no longer allow for it.

The teakettle whistles obnoxiously, and I pull a small cup from the cupboard.  The cupboard door squeaks as I close it, and instinctively, I tell myself I need to get Chandler in here with the WD-40.


I shake my head wearily, and set a small tea bag into my cup.  The steam from the kettle fogs my glasses as I fill my cup, and I smile.

It's the warmth that comforts me.

Carefully, I carry my brimming cup to the porch, and settle into a large wicker chair that faces out over my small garden.

Daniel is always telling me that I should hire a gardener for outside work, but I know that they'll just mess things up.  I'd rather do it myself.

A smile dusts my lips, as I think of my eldest son. 

Daniel was adopted, a few years after Chandler and I got married.  We were told we couldn't have children, and found adoption to be our most viable option.  We almost lost our chance, thanks to some kind of clerical mix-up, and a bit of storytelling on our parts.

But it all worked out, and as soon as I saw Daniel for the first time, I knew in my heart it was meant to be.

Ironically, the night we found out we were going to get Daniel, I got pregnant.

Nine months later we had a new house, a brand-new baby, and a five-month-old infant.

It was, in a word, stressful.

Neither Chandler or I was getting much sleep, and we fought with each other more during those first several months than we ever had.  Looking back, I can hardly recall what all the fighting was about.

I think part of it was the stress of the two babies.  Part of it was separation anxiety—we were miles from our friends, and consequently, we were spending entirely too much time together—topped with the stress of having a new house and new responsibilities.

One night, near Daniel's first birthday, Chandler didn't come home.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night, and feeling cold.  I reached out for Chandler, but his side of the bed was untouched.  I got up, and wandered through the house, wondering where he could be.  I checked the garage, and noted that his car wasn't there.  So I called his office…I called Ross and Rachel's…I called Phoebe and Mike's and I called Joey's.

No one had seen him.

He came home eventually…just before sunrise. 

I remember standing in the doorway, a mixture of anger and relief swirling inside of me.

He said nothing; he simply walked to me, and pulled me into his arms, and hugged me tighter than he had ever hugged me before.  I felt him shudder slightly, and felt the warm moisture of his tears permeate my nightclothes.

He pulled away, and said nothing.  He led me upstairs, climbed into bed, and held me until morning.

The devastation in his eyes startled me, but I couldn't bring myself to ask him what was wrong.

Two days later, we were laying in bed, and he told me, in a hushed voice, that he'd been held up in traffic for hours, because of a devastating, four car crash on the highway.

As he'd passed the accident, he saw a minivan that looked eerily familiar.  He'd pulled over, and begged the police to tell him what had happened—who was in that van.

The officer had told him that the woman and two children in the van had been killed instantly, and in that moment, he had seen his entire world flash by him—and collapse.

It took him several hours more to confirm that it wasn't the kids and me. 

When he'd finished, I asked him why he hadn't just called the house.  He explained that he had, but that no one had answered.

And I remembered that I had heard the call come in, but was in the middle of feeding the kids, and hadn't bothered to answer.

It was a strange, dramatic turning point for us.  We no longer saw our lives as a challenge—we saw them as a blessing, one that we were thankful for everyday.

A car whizzes by, and I am pulled from my reverie.  I look up at the sky, and I see the stars, winking at me, telling me that I am not alone.

The car is far in the distance now.  And once again, I am surrounded by silence.

Grace, our eldest daughter, called me earlier tonight, once again urging me to sell the house and move closer to her and her husband David and the kids.  I know she worries about me, but she doesn't understand that I just can't bear to leave my home.

My house is old and worn, like me…like the dingy white sofa that sits, tattered and torn, in the far corner of Chandler's office.  I can't bear to get rid of the sofa, so how could I possibly get rid of the house, and all of the memories that fill it?

There's the living room, which holds echoes of Christmas' past;

The kitchen, where I cooked a thousand meals for Chandler and the kids;

The dining room, where Chandler always found new and inventive ways to disgust all of us on Thanksgiving;

Daniel's bedroom, where Chandler and I sat and told him about his adoption, and congratulated him on his achievements, and berated him for the bag of pot Chandler had found;

Grace and Sadie's bedroom, site of countless wailing fights and home to more pink than even I can stand;

The master bedroom, where Sadie was conceived, where Chandler and I had our most frank discussions, and, last year, the place where I lost the love of my life.

Chandler had been suffering from Heart Disease for a few years, and I knew that, in the end, he was ready to go.

The kids had come back, in those last few days, to say their goodbyes, and to comfort me.

But I refused to leave his side, and as I watched him fade, I saw my own life, what was left of it, fade as well.

On a night similar to this, Chandler gazed out to the stars, then turned to look at me.  His eyes were awash with unshed tears, and his voice was all but gone.  I leaned toward him, as he whispered softly, the last words he would ever say.

"I'll always be here, sweetheart…right here."

And that's why I can't leave.  I can't leave him…he is here with me, he always will be.  I look to the sky, and I see him, smiling at me, telling me that everything is going to be okay…I am not alone, and I never will be.

In the perfect silence of night, I find my greatest strength in the stars above.

When it rains it pours and opens doors

And floods the floors we thought would always keep us safe and dry

And in the midst of sailing ships we sink our lips into the ones we love

That have to say goodbye

And as I float along this ocean

I can feel you like a notion that won't seem to let me go

Cause when I look to the sky something tells me you're here with me

And you make everything alright

And when I feel like I'm lost something tells me you're here with me

And I can always find my way when you are here

And every word I didn't say that caught up in some busy day

And every dance on the kitchen floor we didn't dance before

And every sunset that we'll miss I'll wrap them all up in a kiss

And pick you up in all of this when I sail away

Whether I am up or down or in or out or just plane overhead

Instead it just feels like it is impossible to fly

But with you I can spread my wings

to see me over everything that life may send me

When I am hoping it won't pass me by

And when I feel like there is no one that will ever know me

there you are to show me

(When I Look to the Sky, by Train)