Sunday, January 2, 2011

Good night and good-bye

Tonight we say farewell to a beautiful spirit. Someone who seemed to always have a laugh or a smile when you saw her. She didn’t have any children of her own, but was full of hugs and kisses for the children around her. Tonight, we say “rest” to my dear cousin.

When my cousin fell ill a few months ago, we rushed to her hospital bed. After she recovered, weeks went by and I hadn’t gone to visit her. Then one day, I thought “why do we rush to see the sick, but procrastinate about seeing the well”? Human nature, I guess. Action motivated by panic and urgency. Similar to the same way that no-one ever fills up their car when its half-full, but begs and pleads to the powers-that-be to please let the gas fumes push them to the next gas station.

I finally went to see my cousin right before Christmas. When the nurse told my cousin that she had a visitor, she looked at me and responded to the nurse with what I think was my name. I stayed for a while and planned to go again. Maybe I would read to her the next time, I wondered if she would enjoy that. But that visit never happened. Her sister called tonight to tell me that my cousin had passed, soon after she had seen her sister. I wondered, was this God’s gift to them, to let them visit and chat in this new year? I smile, thinking that it was.

I imagine that my cousin is at peace. That she’s not in pain, that she’s not worried what’s going to happen to her next. I like to think that God has opened His hand to welcome her home, that her mother and her father have embraced her, and that her soul is full of joy and calm.

As for me, I’m glad I went to see her when I did. And I’m hoping that I will visit, or call, or write while my friends and family are well, and not wait until I hear the eternal clock ticking. I’d rather say “I just talked to them” rather than “when was the last time I talked to them?” I hope that I will follow up when the little voice in my head says to dial the phone or drop a note saying “just thinking about you”.

Good-night, my dear cousin. We will miss you. God bless your soul.

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