Thursday, August 7, 2008

He Stands Alone

We drove away slowly. I looked at the two of them, standing there. Light gently illuminated their faces. He had on arm around her waist, the other raised in farewell. She was smiling not at us, but up at him. I turned to my husband and told him to remember this. To remember it well, as I didn't think we'd be driving away to that sight many more times at all. There was a sense of impending sorrow. I wanted to remember them this way - together. Click. A picture frozen in my mind.

They walked out my front door together. Medication clouded my mind and my head. I thought about how I wished she could be without her sling. He put his arm around her shoulder and smiled. Click.

My dad walked in the door of our church. Service was over. I thought it odd that he'd show up too late. He asked to talk in private. I was scared something had happened between he and Kelly. The door closed. Derek and I stood watching him. Tears streamed and he said "Jenn, Gramma and Grampa had an accident. Grampa's in ICU, not doing very well. Gramma didn't make it." The room spun. Tears flowed. Heart broke. Click.

My Pastor walks in. I turn to him, desperate for comfort. He holds me close. I step back and see the sorrow in he and Paula's face. I see my husband barely standing. Click.

He's lying in the bed. His face is pale. His eyes are half closed. Blood speckles his face and hands. He's moaning from a pain far beyond physical. Monitors beep, people stare at the floor. Nurses hush as they approach the room. I go to him, so thankful that he is alive. As broken as his heart. Click.

The last people file past her coffin and out the door. It's just "us," the family. He approaches her, tells her goodnight and he loves her. He puts his hand on the coffin and stares one last time at her face. Every inch of his body is slumped in brokenness. He stands alone. Click.

Cold. Snow blowing on the ground. People huddled in black. Silence. He is staring at the box that contains her body. He stands alone. Click.

It's time to go home. We've been here all day, trying to fill this empty house with something other than sorrow. As we pull away, I look back. In the doorway, I can see him. Hand raised in farewell. Shoulders slumped, head ducked. He stands alone. Click.

It's Christmas. Her favorite. We are packing up, ready to go home. We've laughed and cried today. Managed to move past the ackward moments and enjoy each other. I look up. He's there, in the living room doorway, leaning on the door jam. Tears flow freely, and his face contorts with sobs held in check. He stands alone. Click.

There's only one person in line ahead of him. His face reflects the joy of the occasion. His eyes hold love for his new daughter-in-law. But there's sadness. It's deep, painful. He's waiting his turn. He stands alone. Click.

Parent picture time. Father, mother, daughter. Son, Father. He stands alone. Click.

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