I've not blogged for a few days because there was really nothing that I could say. No words to describe this experience. Today, my life-long best friend/sister said good-bye to her wonderful husband of one year, as he died from the same exact thing, a brain tumor, that took her first husband thirteen years ago.
Life is not fair and we don't get to pick our challenges, I realize. And I'm a firm believer that our challenges make us stronger. But. This! This. I do not understand. It's devastating. For Carol. For her kids. For all who knew and loved this great man...one of the most remarkable men I've ever met and loved. We all feel as though we've lost a piece of our hearts.
I have such a strong knowledge of, and faith in, the Plan of Salvation... an understanding that death is not the end...that there is much more after our mortal life... that there are eternal families and bonds. That, I do not question. I could completely envision a smiling Robert, free of pain, passing through the veil between mortality and eternity today... a joyful reunion with his first wife, with Carol's first husband (who I'm certain was there to greet Robert), with his parents and siblings who've gone before him. Although, I'm certain that Robert was heartbroken to leave Carol after such a short time together, this had to have been a celebration for them all.
BUT, in spite of the joyful reunions on the other side of the veil, there are so many things that are wrong about this situation on this side. So many! I can't even go there. I won't. I can't.
One other thing that really hit me hard tonight, as we drove home from picking Grace up at the airport in SLC... When I say that Carol is my sister, I mean it. We have no common blood. I realize that. BUT. I was thinking about my relationship with Carol. I had to be gone this afternoon to welcome Grace home and was not able to be there with Carol, although we did keep in touch by text and phone. It just about killed me.
Driving home at 10:30 tonight, I thought about my relationship with Carol and with Denise. They are truly my sisters. I was thinking about how I refer to each of them as "my best friend". I love these two women like sisters. They know each other. They are as different as night and day. But, I love them both more than life itself. They are the sisters I never had. If someone asked me to choose one over the other, I could no sooner do that than Carol could choose one of her four sisters or Denise could choose one of her two. Doug and I consider them, every bit as much family, as we do any of our blood family. For almost thirty years, we have loved like family.
That being said, Doug and I both feel as though we've lost a brother today. We hurt more deeply than words can say for Carol and her kids. Our hearts ache. Our kids' hearts hurt. We held each other a little tighter because we are together, Doug and I and the kids, tonight. It was a relief to have Grace in my arms again. I sighed a deep sigh as we drove back into the valley. Home. I had tears as Quayd greeted us when we walked in and hugged me for a long moment. ZJ has been my rock. Doug and I held each other a little longer before he crawled into bed, three hours later than usual.
I am and have been so so blessed with so many wonderful people in my life, on this side and the other side of the veil. I'm thankful that Carol is surrounded by her amazing family and that we consider each other family, as well. I'm thankful for the short time that Robert was in our life. He made an impact that will last forever. Forever. His wit, his laugh, his humor, his smile, his eyes will be with us.
Another thought that I've had many times today, was of my dear friend, Toni, mother of six, who left this earth-life far too soon in a tragic car accident, almost twenty years ago. Rarely a day goes by that her influence does not still touch me, influence me, make me who I am today. Robert will be the same. He has become a part of our lives forever. And for that, I can say, on this devastatingly heartbreaking day... life is good. Enough said.