The wind pushed my car out of its lane for the third time to the rhythm of the windshield wipers on the highest setting. The rain pelted down in sympathy out of the blackness as if a giant invisible heart were breaking. Leaves pulsed in horizontal blasts at the mercy of the wind. I would never have ventured out in such weather if it weren’t for the race against time; the race to see Grace just once more.
Every life has an effect on others, whether positive or negative. Maybe it is all these lives held captive to the gravity of this earth that keeps it in balance. All I know is that Grace held such positive power that she balanced out tens of thousands of negatives. She was Grace, and grace was her. Sometimes I put characters in my writing that are so gracious and kind, that never complain and never talk badly about others, but the living breathing person of Grace was the real thing. The closest thing I ever heard to a complaint was a few days ago when she said, “I’m not doing well.” And she only said it because someone asked her how she was doing.
It sounds impossible in our world today. Selfishness is rampant. Opinions are blasted from every speaker, every electronic device and every blog. Compare a person who never demanded her way. In the 20 years I knew her, she never said a cross word, never became impatient, and never sported a frown. She smiled and joked about everything. No one is perfect, so perhaps in the shadow of her death I am blocking out the negative, but I don’t think so.
Now she’s gone. There’s an empty chair, a pair of abandoned glasses, and a very sad old man who reaches across the bed to find himself alone there for the first time in 64 years. She has left such a hole in the fabric that is our family, and yet the sunshine she left with us we will hold in our hearts until we take our turn crossing that final border.
May those who knew her hold her memory close and let it effect our lives for the positive. She’s beyond pain now. She deserves that – happiness and health. I imagine she’s connected with her first born son who died at birth, as well as her parents and friends who have gone on before. She’s walked out of our lives but she will never walk out of our hearts.