Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saying Goodbye

I have a friend who has been through a very tough year. His mother and step-father died within days of each other. Less than a month later his house burned and was a total loss. He works crazy bad hours - 6 pm to 6 am with three days on and two days off, seven days a week.

Yet, in the midst of all this badness, he has never lost his gentle spirit.

We were "talking" last night by text while he was a work. He's the executor of his mom's will and everything is finally being finished. His grandfather built the house his mom lived in. It's the house he grew up in and it's for sale. There is an estate sale there this weekend and he's been working hard at getting everything ready.

His first text asked me if I could come up and help with the sale this weekend. I said yes, and then I asked if it was a relief that things were finally being wrapped up.

"In a big way. You know, it's hard to sell all this stuff that was my family's. I want to keep it because it belonged to them. But it needs to be gotten rid of. Does that make any sense?"

Absolutely. It's kind of bittersweet.

"Bittersweet is a good word. S (his partner) and I got in kind of an argument the other night so I went over to Mom's to do some work and fell asleep in the bed I slept in as a kid. It was the last time I will ever sleep at Mom's house. Funny, huh?"

It was a gift. You got to say goodbye to your family all alone and in your own way. I'm glad for that for you.

"Me too, though I didn't realize it at the time. It's like home there - all so familiar. Like my family was still there, just downstairs. I could almost feel their presence in the house. It was strange, but good. Peaceful for all who had gone on to be with God. Silly, huh?"

Not silly at all. That was a gift from God for you. Never forget what that felt like.


Maybe it's that I've been sick. Or maybe it's that I miss seeing and actually talking to my friend rather than just texting all the time. Or perhaps it's that as I get older I understand the value of the small gifts that life hands out if we're paying attention. Whatever it was, that little electronic conversation made me a bit weepy.

It also made me very thankful that at least he got the opportunity to say goodbye.

1 comment:

Ami said...

You're obviously a wonderful friend, too. Another gift for your friend.