Heaven Sent

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Heaven Sent

I used to visit her on Tuesday mornings. I would make a cup of tea and fill up the pan with warm soapy water. Kelly would soak her feet a few minutes and we would chat about whatever caught our interest that day. Sipping tea, chatting like old friends though we didn’t know each other that long.

She created a Facebook page for people with cancer so they could pass along items they no longer needed – wigs, walkers, canes, commodes, anything. Kelly wanted to help anyone in need, she was keenly aware that there were many people in need. We also talked about her children – a daughter and two sons. The daughter was married, her youngest son was in middle school, the same age as my boy.

After about 10 minutes I would take one foot out and pat it dry. Then I would give her a pedicure, she always liked a good pedi. It isn’t something I excel at but that’s what she wanted, so I fumbled my way through. She was always grateful for my attempt, a genuine smile on her face. We did this for months before I left for vacation.

That summer my family spent 3 glorious weeks in Italy. Exploring as much as we could – Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Lucca, Orvieto and Rome. My husband speaks fluent Italian and he got us some great rental properties to stay in. It was my all time favorite vacation. It was magical, the four of us in a place of beauty, enriched in history and the food, my God what a time we had.

When I got back home I was preparing to jump back into my schedule when I heard the news. Kelly had passed away just a few weeks after her 48th birthday. Today her birthday came up in my Facebook feed, she would have been 51 today. I turn 51 next week.

I think of her youngest son often. I didn’t know her that well, I was just a hospice volunteer that would visit once a week, make her tea and paint her toes. Sometimes I wonder why life is so hard for some people and seemingly so easy for others. Why did I get to go to Italy while she perished?

Life doesn’t make sense, there is nothing fair about it. So today Kelly reminded me how precious life is and how fleeting and unpredictable it can be…I feel like she would have wanted me to share that message, so I am. Happy Birthday in heaven Kelly.

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8 responses »

  1. What a great ode to Life and its fragility…. There is no fairness down here, indeed. But luckily, the hard times of the good people who suffer can inspire those who survive them, just like it did with you. Maybe some people are there just to remind us of what we are greeted with, even when we think that we could have an easier life ourselves… Awesome post, Bryce! Thank you for sharing your story with Kelly 🙂 xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It was meant for me to pop over today. While I’m sure she has left a worrisome hole in your life, I’m left believing that you gave Kelly great joy during your visits and that she was probably delighted that you had the opportunity to experience Italy as you did. She sounds like quite a gal.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. My husband and I have had relatively healthy friends in their early 50’s pass away in the past couple of years from random weird cancers. Hubby just turned 50 in October and I’m 45. It gives me pause and helps me remember how precious and wonderful every day can be. It also helped me realize I can’t just be living in this “someday” world when I retire, etc. I need to spend time doing what I love and spending time with people I care about now, while those precious moments remain. Thanks for this reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Cancer is a horrible disease. It can also be horribly boring, whether a person is in chemo or hospice. It’s amazing how mentally and physically exhausting not doing anything can be.
    You brought a little joy into Kelly’s life at a time when she really needed it and she sounds like the sort of person who would be happy you got to go out and live–she sounds like the sort of person whose own life would be made better by knowing you were enjoying yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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