shortly after I posted a note about a phone call, I received another kind of call at work. It was Pop calling, not another business call. He called to tell me that the guy I’ve visited several times in the hospital passed away in the early morning hours today. I had gone to the hospital last night to visit him and his family. Shortly after I arrived, his sister and her husband came, so I didn’t go in to see him, just stayed in the waiting room with the family. It broke my heart to talk to his 9 year old daughter, as she too tried to keep up the family tradition of having a stiff upper lip. With tears in her eyes, she talked about his snoring and about how she got to wake him up and hug him that day. Never knowing that was her last hug, her last chance to hear him snore. Not knowing that she would have to face life without a daddy, someone to turn to in times of need.
It breaks my heart to think about his wife, who waited so long for a husband and now must face life alone again, shouldering the responsibility of raising a child on her own. My prayer is that she accepts the offers of love around her and that she break the family tradition and let her emotions flow. At this moment, she’s lonely, confused, hurt, angry, sad, scared – a bundle of open, frayed nerves that needs to find hope in the midst of this suffering. I also pray that the lessons our class went through on suffering find their mark on someone and that someone reaches out to her, someone that can connect with her, someone that can touch her in ways that I can’t.
Life is hard. And short. Don’t waste your time, allowing your life to amount to nothing more than material possessions. He was diagnosed exactly one week ago, no time for long goodbyes. Reach out and touch someone today. Tomorrow my never come.