Sometimes life is…weird. There’s this "death" thing following me around. Tomorrow marks the two month anniversary of my father’s death, so maybe I just have a heightened sensitivity to it.
A dear friend’s husband just discovered he had an aggressive form of cancer when they thought he only needed a simple, "routine" emergency appendectomy.
Remember me mentioning our house being painted (#4 on the list)? The owner of the company, Mark, and his crew were with me for the better part of my waking hours for almost two weeks. Mark was one of those colorful sorts, after two days, he got V E R Y comfortable with me and spoke very f r e e l y. "I don’t know why I can’t keep a woman, I KNOW it’s not ME runnin’ them off…" (I offered to coach him in the finer nuances of courting a woman). He was fair and agreeable and eager to please.
They finished on Thursday, the day before Tad and I left for our mini get-away. On Friday as we were pulling out of our neighborhood, my cell phone rang. Tad answered it. It was Mark’s crew supervisor, Jimmy. Mark died the night before. Thursday. I had just spent time with him earlier in the day, and he had commented "I feel like hell" (to which I replied, "You LOOK like hell." I knew he wasn’t feeling great, he had chronic pain and walked with a limp, sometimes more exaggerated than others). I had two phone messages from him I hadn’t yet listened to (until after Jimmy’s call). Surreal. The voice of a dead man.
Saturday while Tad and I were tearing up Atlanta, I received a call from Gina; another friend’s mother (unexpectedly to me) passed away. She found out after Christmas SHE had cancer, it had already progressed and there was no treatment offered.
Several friends in the blogosphere have recently lost parents, grands, in-laws and other close relatives. One of my favorite Christian authors just lost his father and journeled his thoughts in the tender and hope-filled-but-painful moments after.
Nibbles died Sunday night.
Do you remember me telling you about being discombobulated from our bathroom renovation? Have you noticed I haven’t posted any stinkin’ pictures??? That’s because it’s not yet finished. For a while, we were using the shower, but recently discovered a water leak. We’re waiting on Kevin, a one-man operation, to come back to fix it. He’s a good guy, but because he’s on his own, we have to wait. He was supposed to call by the end of last week. Because he didn’t, I called him Monday afternoon. He sounded……odd.
"Kevin, are you okay?" I asked as soon as he said "Hello".
"My dad just died…"
"WHAT?????!" I accidentally screeched.
"My dad just died…I’m still at the hospital…less than an hour ago", I was able to make out between his tears.
WHAT–You’ve got to be kidding! I’m thinking, but I say "What can I do for you, how can I help, do you need me to call someone?" I was dumbfounded. I have no idea why he answered the phone, but I’m certain he knew WHY I was calling. I quickly got off the phone after promising to pray for his family.
I’m not paranoid, and thankfully I don’t live in fear of this kind of thing. But I can’t help but notice. I actually find a convoluted kind of humor in the "seriousness" of life; I dunno, I think having lost both parents now "entitles" me to respond however I want…I can be extremely irreverent, but I don’t think it’s disrespectful, I certainly don’t mean it that way. Perhaps one of my greatest strengths–and I contend it’s a strength and not weakness or repression or self-delusion or simply a coping mechanism–is finding levity in life.
So, I hug my babies a bit tighter, kiss ’em again after they’re asleep…and thank God for how amazingly blessed we are. Because WE ARE!
HT to darkmatter for the amazing picture here.