(FYI...this is a two part post. As the result of a Twitter poll, most people said they'd prefer two shorter posts over one long one. So two it is!)
It's been just over 6 months since we lost my brother-in-law in that tragic January accident.
It feels like it was just yesterday and a lifetime ago, all at the same time.
The wound that his death left on us, on our community, is so deep, that I'm certain that none of us will ever be the same. Most of that change will be for good; in the way we love, the way we live, the way we will help others and the way we will show our support for other grieving families. We have learned so much from being touched by the cruel hand of tragedy.
One thing that strikes me, is how we so often live our lives so wrapped up in ourselves that rarely do we take the time to touch base with our loved ones. Prior to Verd's death, it wouldn't be unlikely for me to go a couple of weeks without seeing or talking to him.
Since his accident, I have not gone one single, solitary day without thinking about him, the night of his accident, or his family that was left behind.
Some things are burned into our memories forever...cemented in place by the emotions that are connected to it. For me, it is that phone call.
If you've lost a loved one, you know what I mean by "that phone call".
I'm not sure how much I've talked about those first moments, but they are not something I will ever forget. That phone call...garbled by a bad connection and the raw emotion in my husband's voice.
That phone call. The one I wish would never have had to be made.
The one that changed everything.
In the time since Verd's accident, I've struggled with finding a way I can help out his family. His wife is an incredible woman. Strong beyond any strength I've seen, supporting her children, remembering her husband and their dad, deepening her faith. She amazes me.
And so does God.
I've been praying for a way to help. Talking to those close to me, wishing I could be of more help...and then this:
At the Mr.'s recent customer appreciation dinner, K. and I started chatting. She teaches religion to a group of students, The Pal included, and I casually asked if the groups were going to be the same as last year.
That's when she said, "Well, there's been a few negatives. I wanted to talk to you about that, is now an okay time?"
Immediately my thoughts went to some sort of misbehavior on The Pal's part.
What it turned out to be, left more of an impact than any sort of teenage shenanigans.
To be continued...