Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Remembrance [part 3]

She saw it in his eyes, if only for a moment. The candle-lit service and the hymns they sang filled the air with nostalgia. He didn't say a word, but he wiped away a tear or two. She wondered if she was only imagining it, but nonetheless she felt it. It was only the second Christmas without him. No call from the northwest. No passing around of the phone to say hello. Just life as they knew it to be.

She studied his brother, left behind in a quiet tragedy that should have never happened. She wondered if he thought of him that night, or if the shuffle of family and games and gifts was enough to drown out the emptiness left by a loved one too quickly departed. She wondered at how it would feel, but could only go so far before becoming overwhelmed at the thought of losing a sibling. Flesh and blood. Heart and soul. Someone there through years of memories and changes and events and gatherings. And then suddenly, painfully, taken away.

She wondered about Heaven and Hell and how only God can judge a heart, even as its mortal life is slipping away. What happens in a moment? Can it change eternity? She only prayed it could be so for him. For his sake. For their sake.

And there was grace enough to keep on living. Moving. Laughing. Breathing. Enjoying. Remembering. Bitter sorrow was now tempered by joy that only family can bring.

And once again, hope was in the midst of them.

[Part 1 and Part 2]

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