Disclaimer: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, Cyrene and Lyceus belong to MCA/Universal, and are used without intent for commercial profits.

This is not a happy tale, but one that rings of true human emotion.

Dedication: To my beloved mother Christine. You have made me who I am today. The world will be a sadder place without you.

Tribute of Love

by Felioness

The healers tell us that Mother has a growth in her head that is beyond their skills to heal. As knowledgeable as I am in the healing arts, I am forced to agree with them…I am helpless, not a comfortable feeling for this warrior. I have prayed to all the Gods for their help, but with my past, I have little hope they will help me now. Since I need her so much, perhaps I am being selfish…she deserves the peace of the Fields

There is no one in the world like Cyrene. While Gabrielle is my tree in the forest; through our good times and bad, happiness and sorrow, my mother has been my rock. There have been times in my life that I resented her interference, knowing all the while that she was right. And there have been just as many times that I have wished for her serene wisdom and advice.

Soon she will leave us. Today she appears just as she did the day I first left Amphipolis in shame. To look at her now, I cannot bring myself to believe that she will no longer be a part of my life. She tells me that she is at peace, knowing that soon she will be with Lyceus. And as much as I loved Lyceus, I am jealous that she will soon be his. I thank all the Gods that I have offended that her passing will be painless. She is so pure of heart that even they cannot bring themselves to make her suffer.

But I am angry and scared.

I told her today that it is said that the dead can hear the thoughts of the living and asked her to watch over me. I laid my head in her lap and cried my grief as I had not done since I was a child with a broken arm or broken heart. This fierce warlord is brought to her knees by the knowledge of this one thing I cannot change.

Gabrielle holds me in the night and tries to sooth my pain. She reminds me that this is the way of life, seasons passing one into the next. She is the only thing that keeps me from acting out my agony with acts of violence. So very much alike, my mother and my beloved. There are so very few truly pure beings in this life and I have been blessed with the love of two such precious ones. If Gabrielle did not have me firmly anchored in this life, I believe that I would find a way to follow Cyrene into the next.

No matter how old I get, the child inside my heart still demands that these few things remain as they have always been. I feel my heart being ripped, still beating, from my body. Nothing Caesar has or could have done to me could come close to the pain I feel today. And Cyrene, having no fear of death, comforts me.

These two women, my mother and my soulmate, have kept this unfeeling warlord on the path to goodness and redemption. I cannot begin to understand why I have been blessed with these saintly beings…just that I have. Now, Gabrielle must carry the load alone. What a monumental task for one woman to bear, but I have no doubt that she will succeed.

It is simply a matter of time, but how much time? No one can answer that question and I am not sure I would want to know anyway. I want to live each day to the fullest…experience the joy of her presence in my life…savor each moment.

And when the time comes, I wish to honor her deeds. Not the stuff of heroes, but certainly the stuff heroes are made of. Without her, I would be a bitter housewife. I would be a non-entity whose life amounted to nothing more than any other housewife. But then, she was a simple housewife and tavern keeper…and is that so bad? We all have a role to play in this life and hers was no less important than mine.

Bards may not sing of her deeds, but my heart will sing her praises until I draw my last breath. Her children and grandchildren will live on as testament to her heroism and bravery. Every deed I have accomplished is because of her…the good ones anyway. The evil in my past is no fault of hers. Cyrene and Gabrielle have made me who I am today. Without them, I’d be sun-bleached bones lying on some unknown battlefield, my death a blessing to all good people.

I have never been able to credit the Gods with anything good, but Cyrene is their finest work and she shall surely be a queen when she crosses over to the Elysian Fields.

And Lyceus, please care for her better than I have done in this life.

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