Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weep Not For the Memories

Saying goodbye is so hard.  Knowing someone you love is dying and there is nothing anyone can do about it is excruciating.  Watching your husband, a strong man, feel pain - intense, gut-wrenching pain - because his friend will soon be gone cuts to the core.

After church today, our choir visited a friend who is nearing the end of his life.  We gathered in his room at the nursing home and sang two songs for him.  He was aware that we were there and we could see him mouthing some of the words along with us.

I'm a Christian.  I believe that life begins at death.  I know my friend will receive his reward.  So why does knowing he will soon be gone hurt so badly?

Maybe it's because he's been through so much and fought for so long. Operations.  Medications.  He was always so positive even when we knew it was taking a toll on him.

Maybe it's because he's a good man.  One of the best.  Generous.  Kind.  Just the perfect mix of serious and ornery.

Or maybe it's much more personal than that.  Our friend and his wife have always been kind to me.  Welcoming.  I met them when John and I were dating.  I knew right away how important John was to them.  It was obvious.  They looked at him with such love and were genuinely interested in his life.  I'd never known that kind of love existed between unrelated people.  They've taught me the importance of a chosen family.

When I became a part of John's life, they became a part of mine.  To this day, they are one of the biggest blessings I've received.  When I feel I'm at the end of my rope, it seems like one of them is always there to tell me that children are small for a short time and whatever they're doing to make me crazy will pass.  They've been a major support source for me, offering praise and acknowledgment of my parenting.  They even lent us a crib when we realized I was having twins.

It's often said that things will never be the same without certain people.  It's an overused phrase that's often meaningless.  However, I can tell you, with 100% accuracy, that things will never be the same without our friend, Dave.  Who will heckle the presidents or the music chair at Community Choir?  Who will stop us during rehearsal to ensure that we sound like a polished group of professionals?  Who will make us laugh at every single rehearsal?

Dave makes me want to be more like him...the kind of person deserving the eternal reward.  One, whom for decades, will be remembered with fondness.  One whom will missed, so terribly missed.

When you know someone's life is limited, you become flooded with memories.  It's not often that I can say every memory I've made with someone is positive.  Dave is so good.  Gracious.  Kind-hearted. Warm.

You're unforgettable, Dave.  No matter how much time passes between your exit and mine, I Will Remember You. 

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