15 March 2011

Best Friends

Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Charleston, S.C.

I went to the funeral visitation of one of my gentleman volunteers this evening. He was such a nice man that I've been fascinated by him and the way he led his life.

JD and his wife Cat, have volunteered at the friendly little hospital across the river, every Monday afternoon for years on end. They were tiny people and each week they struggled across the parking lot carrying the giant floral arrangement from their Sunday church service so we could divide it into small bouquets. They didn't want there to be a patient in-house without fresh flowers in their room.

Every week they had lunch together in the hospital cafeteria before reporting for duty and I watched them talk - to each other, as if they were still getting to know each other. They worked together for four hours, answering the phones, giggling in between directing lost souls. They survived greater losses than should be asked of any parent, losing both of their adult children and it seemed to make them stronger and closer. Things are always more complicated than they appear but from my sideline view they appeared to have the example of what an ideal partner relationship should be.

The sad thing is that the better the relationship the more painful the loss. I am so sorry Cat. So sorry.