A few years ago, when we were living on a quiet island in the Puget Sound, a new friend I'd met the previous year died.
She was a young mother, with two children not even yet school age.
Her diagnosis came as a shock. The doctors weren't even sure she'd have a few months. She was terminal, there was nothing they could do, she knew her fate.
In those few months, even tho she lived, we mourned her. We also mourned the fate of her young children.
A small group of mothers took turns caring for the children for a few hours each afternoon. Sometimes so she could rest or sleep. Sometimes so her and her husband could spend some alone time together.
It was the least we could do.
The doctors were right, she deteriorated quickly and passed away only a few months after her initial diagnosis.
As I thought about my upcoming trip home this weekend, I thought about my friend....and her children. They were/are so young. The youngest had only turned two, the oldest not yet four.
Would they remember their mother? Would they remember how much she loved them? How much she tried to keep smiling till the very end?
I was 24 when my Father passed away. We too, knew he'd be leaving us soon. Those few months of mourning while he was still alive, cannot be described with words. It's the darkest my life has ever been. And 20 years later, I miss him still with such a hurting in my heart, that it brings me to tears.
I think of her children, and know they've been robbed of so much. Maybe it's best they won't remember. I don't really know.
H and I married six months after He passed. Quietly, just the two of us....in a small chapel in California. If He couldn't walk me down the isle, I didn't want there to be any people....just us. For He loved H too.
I'm going home this weekend. It's not the first or even the 20th time since He's died that I'm going home. But this time, I'm bringing back pieces of him that are so important to me. It's like I'm finally getting closure.
I feel so blessed that He was my Father for 18 years. That He picked me and brought me home all those years ago...and now I'm bringing home a piece of Him.