Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Fare thee well

 I am deeply sad to report that last night the Great Triad lost one of its true devotees. On this day, I find within a deep desire that I could believe in God, because if there was ever a woman who held onto God more deeply, it would be my favorite (and only) sister-in-law, Gail. There have been several people in my life that have accused me of not knowing what love is, but, if I ever doubted my understanding of love, it could always be renewed in a phone call, or visit with her. I have known very few people in my life who embodied love…who embodied the pure love suggested in the Bible…but Gail was certainly the most profound. I would go so far as to trumpet to the entire world that she lived in light, that she lived in grace…that the grace of God dwelled easily and comfortably within her.

I know that she knew that I loved her. I know that she loved me. I am thankful that she was surrounded by all those she loved the most. I wish i could have made her laugh one last time. I wish I could have been there. And today, and only today, do I wish that there really was such a place as Heaven, because surely God would have pushed Jesus out of the way that she might sit next to him/her/whatever. She truly was the embodiment of the kind of love a Christian God would want all believers to embrace…to live by.

We had a deep kinship, despite the fact that I would argue with her regarding nearly everything she believed. To be fair, my contrariness with her only served to make her laugh. She had a wonderful laugh. It burst out of her like a giant surprise, and, my oh my, did I love those surprises. I may have done many good things in my life, but making her laugh was right at the top of my favorites list. She told me once that slapping, for her, was an act of affection…an act of love. It was the most wonderfully happy exchange we ever shared.

Her faith, religious and spiritual, made her the most courageous, hopeful woman I have known in my life. That she suffered with MS for so long was, in my mind, the most unfair thing ever. Yet despite all that she went through, she brought me back to loving my brother. I am worried about my brother, because I don’t know how he will survive without her. His love for her was as deep and devoted as any I have ever witnessed, and for that alone, I will love him as deeply and purely as I am capable of.

Today, I am filled with sadness but, I am grateful for every moment I spent with her. She shared with me things that I’m certain she shared with very few people, if anyone. And I cradled those shared things like great gifts. I have no idea why she trusted me as much as she did, but she did.

I will carry with me, for the rest of my life, the hope that she will say goodbye to me the way she always said goodbye…”see you tomorrow”.

And Gail, if you meet God…say hello for me.