The house is finally silent. The stream of family and well-wishers has dried and I am left alone with my thoughts.
She closed her eyes for the last time just five days ago, but already I feel the hollow chasm, the chilling winds that remind me. I am an adult orphan now, parentless . A mother and a father snatched in the same year is a double blow.
Somehow, I thought they would always be around, invincible, oblivious to the ravages of time.
I sit here at the dining room table and the walls speak. There’s the picture of my two sons, one hanging on each shoulder, with a happy mother gazing at us. A lifetime ago it seems. And there’s the photos hanging of distant relatives on the wall outside the kitchen. Out in the living room is a reproduction painting of a creek flowing through deep woods that my father “decorated” with two deer cut out from a magazine.
His tools are still in the garage. Her kitchen is just the same. My, how the world was blessed by them.
She met him 63 years ago at a Stockton, CA, restaurant. p. The tanned lean man that looked like he came from the movies and she, fiery red hair and gregarious nature. They were an unlikely pairing – but most of them are.
He left this world first and she, being of the stubborn kind, decided to be apart from him was the worse kind of living. Her life without dad was just going through the motions. She never did find a way to grip on the slippery slope.
|Photo by David Rupert. Just 1/4 a mile from my parent’s home|
In her final days, the doctors said it was bone marrow cancer. There was only the promise of pain-filled treatment that was really, in the end, hopeless. The joy in this is that there is no suffering now.
Her Bible was left open on the table, along with the devotional book open to the last things she read. The passage and reflection were on rest. It’s well-deserved.
With mom, there would have been no near-death experience to recount. I’m sure that once she saw the light of glory, there was no coming back.
And there’s not a doubt in mind that the first words she heard were, “Well done, Annie. Well done my faithful child.”