image borrowed from dlyonsart.blogspot.com
Night of the Reaper
“Believe that love is the strongest thing in the
world; stronger that hate, evil, or death--and
believe further that Love was born in
Bethlehem 2000 years ago.”--Henry Van Dyke.
A decade ago, my wife & I were visiting her mother
in Texas, My mother-in-law was 80, but still mentally
sharp. Three nights before Christmas, we were playing
pinochle, & she was gleefully winning. My father-in-
law was staying in a Rehab facility. Six months before,
he’d fallen asleep at the wheel of his truck & struck a
tree. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt, so he was launched
through the windshield & suffered traumatic brain injury.
He had always been a kind man, but he had turned
mean in the midst of his delirium. My sweet mother-in-law
could not adjust to his consummate cruelty toward her
& the medical staff.
Suddenly my sister-in-law showed up, telling us that my
father-in-law had died an hour earlier. We immediately
caravanned up to the facility & viewed the body; his great
chest stilled, a small smile on his lips. I watched grief on
the faces of the family wrestle with relief--hoping that
clarity had been granted to him on his journey, and that
cruelty had to hunt for a new residence.
A funeral for
Christmas bestowed mixed blessings;
so unique for each.
Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub