I Thought Of You Today…
Wow! What a week last week was. Just back from vacation, so it took a while to start getting caught up. As usual, many important things were put aside because of the urgent ‘catch up’ work. Annette’s car gasped its final fumes (at least under our ownership), so we had to find and buy another vehicle on short notice. Uncle Bill died unexpectedly, and although he and I were never anything near close, it made me think of you. But that’s not what brought you to mind this morning.
There was another death last week. Hannah’s first High School friend died suddenly. We got word by telephone with very few details. We didn’t know any arrangements or even a cause…just that he was gone. She hadn’t seen him in over a year, but it was still a hard loss. She grieves better than many adults…she sat stunned (as her mom and I did when we heard). She teared up a little bit and when words finally came, she pressed her fist to her chest and said simply, “I hurt.”
I returned to work this morning and started my normal routine of preparing and writing and deciding and drinking coffee (gotta have that, right?). As I worked on the computer, my email dinged at me as it usually does, and I ignored until a stopping point. Then, I read the obituary and arrangements for Alex. It brought to mind how difficult (but necessary) the memorial will be for Hannah. She is so emotional at any funeral, but Alex was special to her. “I hurt.”
As I thought about Hannah’s possible reactions to the memorial service, a memory came to mind, then another. The first, was your funeral. We all held our composure fairly well…until the end when your casket was being moved up the aisle. In that brief moment, Hannah reached her hand toward you and she said goodbye. Funny how grief returns unexpectedly, but I reacted the same way today that I did then. My face contorted and tears streamed. “I hurt.”
Then, a more poignant memory returned. I’m sure you remember reading to Hannah and Isaiah, and the book Hannah insisted you read every time before we left your house, “The Kissing Hand.” I know I rolled my eyes more than once listening to you read that book to her. The young raccoon is afraid to start Kindergarten, and his mother holds his hand and kisses him in the palm. Now there is no reason to be afraid, because he can carry her love with him. I remembered that morning, when we were preparing to turn off your machines. I vaguely remember most of us saying goodbye, but I specifically remember Hannah taking your hand in hers and kissing your palm. She wanted you to know that her love was going with you before she left the room. “I hurt.”
Yes, I thought of you today, Mom. I usually remember more pleasant moments: teasing you about your cooking; or the time we went for coffee (just you and me); or childhood memories; or the time we…
I usually laugh or smile when I remember you, but not this morning. This morning, I just missed you! I’ll laugh and smile again about you, but at the moment…”I hurt.”