We move into a month that has mixed emotions for me. I think of the birth of my grandson, my daughter’s little boy, one month before my husband’s death. I think of the shocking news we received on the same day as baby was being born. While Lennox was arriving one of my husband’s good friends was dying, in the same hospital on the same day. Tom, died suddenly of a heart attack that had been giving off warning signs for days.
The warning signs had been mistaken for heartburn. We all hear about the similarities between the two, yet sadly can’t recognize the symptoms when they present themselves. Tom died and Kevin was devastated. He resolved to do what he could for Tom’s widow and helped with the musical arrangements. He also wanted to go to visitation. And he did. Barely able to walk, a friend of his phoned ahead to the funeral home and they held everyone aside as we arrived. Kevin walked with a walker, no wheelchair for him that night. He consoled Tom’s widow and left every single person, and there were plenty, absolutely dumbfounded that he had attended. He was just that kind of a guy. You give a 100 percent to those you love. He loved his friends.
Three weeks after Tom’s funeral, and just a few days before Kevin died, Tom’s widow stopped by. She brought flowers. A quick hug and a word of thanks, and a sad smile as she told me privately, as she got ready to head back home, that there were some big black birds hanging around my house. She couldn’t help but think that one of them was her Tom. ‘He had no sense of direction, so he’s probably hanging around waiting for Kevin to help him on his way.’ Funny if anyone else had of said something like that I would have been upset, but with her I wasn’t. You see, I needed those small comforts, like the thought that there was someone Kev could hang out with as soon as he left me, and Tom was a pretty great guy. So I laughed with her and told her I hoped Tom wasn’t in a hurry because Kevin, even after he died, was likely to want to stop and check out everything on the other side as he passed along the way. He always did.
So February is a month with mixed memories for me. The highs and the lows of being alive. I look at my grandson and think how lucky we were that he arrived in time to be held by his granddad. Although he won’t remember it, I do, my daughter does. I just wish that there had of been more – more time to make memories, more days to share, more opportunities to talk and more importantly to listen. I miss him.