No one likes to think about death, even knowing it’s an inevitable event in every living beings life. I believe I am a realist, I know I’ll die one day, that all those around me that I love and know will pass, but I often don’t understand the timing of a person’s death. As a Christian, I believe in God, and I have faith that there is some ultimate reason or answer to why a person dies before what I would describe as their “time”.
I woman I only casually know from our church passed away Thursday night. She was always nice to me, she always complimented my children, and said hello, and she went so far as to help me get my foot in the door at our high school to volunteer when my girls were moving from our Parish school to the public high school. She had battled cancer about 15 years ago, and it had returned, and even a year ago, she knew her time was limited here. A friend of hers told me one of her dreams was to see her youngest graduate from high school, and she accomplished that late last month. I’m sad that at age 55 she is no longer with us. She will not see her grandchildren, or her children all grown and independent. She won’t share that mature retirement time with her husband of 28 years. Her last advice to my friend was to enjoy her children, and not try to make everything perfect, she’d wasted too much time trying to do that herself.
I’m in the classic sandwich generation, raising my children, and facing the realities of my aging parents. My father is 83, my mom is 80. Until 3 years ago they were very healthy and nothing much slowed them down. Now both of their eye sight is failing, they are growing closer to not being able to live independently in the home they built 16 years ago in a town they found and fell in love with. I am the youngest of their four children, so I tread lightly with my advice, and try to be supportive and loving when I talk to them. I am sure we will all reach the same destination, my parents my sibs and I, in our plans for their future, but it may not be at the pace some of would like. Their lives have been full and wonderful, but I will mourn them no less when they are no longer a phone call away.