It’s the circle of life – the normal course of events. Although God blessed us with insight in both cases that death was imminent, that only makes bearing the actual day a little easier. It’s no comfort in filling the ongoing void. My parents were my support system for almost 53 years. I won’t pretend that I had the best relationship with them, but as I charged onward in life with school, marriage, career and children, they were always in my backdrop. At any time I could pause, turn around and say, “hey, I need a hand” and they’d be there. Of course, I took them for granted, but they anchored me. The hands are gone.

Now I have to find a new normal. No longer do I have a mother or father to visit. I won’t get any more calls from mom asking why I haven’t called her lately. The time I carved out for her, especially in the last few months, is now free.

Yes, God is my comfort. He can mend the wounds, but the scars are still there. They are reminders – of a life I had; the joys, the disappointments, of things I wish I’d done differently- better; questions I wish I’d asked, things I could’ve said and maybe most of all, pride I should’ve swallowed.

The lesson, as my friend, Arthur conveyed, is to treat all of my loved ones now as I wish I would’ve treated my parents.

Don’t wait until the funeral to give roses.

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