I made my husband cry.
It wasn’t planned. I wasn’t attempting to do that at all.
Last week a friend died. She had a good long life, although as humans we often crave to live longer and wish our loved ones do as well. When her daughter called to tell me of her passing, there was a catch in her throat and my heart went out to her.
This friend was the person I wished I had had as a mother. I know you can’t always know what really goes on in people’s homes behind closed doors, but her treatment of me had always been nothing but kind. She seemed wise. I met her and her family at church and she was the one who struck up the friendship. I was kind of shy to begin with and due to never feeling like I’m good enough, suffered poor self esteem. She was just nice to me. She would seek me out to speak to me. When I was in college she wrote me letters. When I student taught and lived out of town, she said if the weather was bad, don’t drive in bad conditions, but come stay at her house because she had an extra bedroom. When I came back after college and lived here, we kept up with each other and after her husband died, we would sometimes go out to eat or I would go and visit her.
Last week when I stopped in to see her family, it about broke my heart. One son was in tears. The other two sons as caretakers were wan. They were exhausted. What they did, they did for love and they were kind and respected her wishes.
I held things together talking to the daughter on the phone, and even afterwards. I didn’t break down seeing the sons. Even at the visitation I was OK. But near the end of the funeral, I broke down and cried. And as a result, my husband cried with me because he said when I hurt, he hurts. As I said, I didn’t plan to make him cry.
My friend was ready to go; she was 98 ½ and her health was declining. As Christians, we believe we will go to heaven. It’s just that I will miss her kindness. I wonder if she knew how she touched my life and made me dream of what it would be like to have a “normal” family life.
I just hope that somehow I’m showing an equal amount of kindness to people so that maybe, just maybe they’ll miss me too when I die.