I feel kind of disconnected being in my old home town, where if I see anyone I know, it's old friend's elderly parents. "Kim's doing much better," one of them told me at another old friend's dad's funeral. "She got off the drugs and has a wonderful Christian testimony now."
All around us, it's spring. Daffodils and dogwood, forsythia and daphne. The birds chirping. Kids and I walked to the cemetery where my childhood best friend is buried. She died from a brain tumor when she was seven. The funeral home at first said they had no record of her and asked if she was buried in another cemetery. Meanwhile, a little girl leaned against her mother's legs and said things like "But I don't want them to be deaded," and "How cold do you have to be to be deaded?" while more family members worked out the details in a nearby conference room. Penny's grave was eventually located, and we left her three flowers and I told her she had been a great kid.
My mom goes back to bed three or four times a day, and has trouble walking up the slightest hill. [Full disclosure for the women among you: if you ever feel like you have the worst indigestion of your life, please check it out right away - it could be a heart attack, and you could avoid having congestive heart failure ten years later.] She is happy, joyful, talks to strangers, and wears colorful hats. She still visits her "shut-ins."
I can see her fading before my eyes, but it's spring, the kids are like long-legged colts, and there is an ebb and flow to life we have just have to accept. She's very happy, and how many of us can say that?