And so yesterday afternoon, my husband telephones to tell me he has to fly to Houston right away. I said, “What happened?”
The teenage daughter of one of his high school classmates died from cancer.
He flew out this morning. That’s the kind of man he is. He’s the kind of person you want to be in the room when you get really bad news, the kind of person you call when you just don’t know what to do next. He’ll give you anything he owns without thinking about how much it cost originally. He picks up the phone to check on people and visits people right before they go into surgery to hold their hands and pray.
And sometimes, in the morning, while I’m still scowling at the very idea of being awake, he’ll say, “Tell me the truth. Do you think I’m better looking today?” He wakes up happy. He’s a champion napper and a devoted football fan. He makes me laugh and he thinks I’m quite amusing.
I’m happy to loan him out for three days, knowing that he will make a difference wherever he goes. He will make the situation there, that terrible loss, a little better. He knows the things to say and how to sit with people in their grief.
That’s what loss can do if you let it. Loss can create a deep reserve of kindness and empathy and compassion. My husband draws on that reserve and shares freely.
My heart goes out to his friend . . . I cannot even imagine that loss. Pray for that family, if you are the praying type. And hug your children tight.