LIFE RETURNS . . . “from a 14-year-old “kid,” . . .”

My father was dying.

I returned to work after an out-of-state trip to assist my mother with his care. There was no doubt in my mind that I had made the last visit before his death.

I moved forward into the day, numb in spirit. While hanging up my jacket I spotted a note clipped to the message board on my office door. At that same moment children arrived in the health office for various reasons. I grabbed the note, placed it on my desk, and tried to pry myself out of myself, to deal with the needs of the kids.

An hour passed before I could return to my desk and open the neatly folded and carefully inscribed piece of notebook paper.  The letter began, “Dear Mrs. Flemr, I realize this may sound odd coming from a 14-year-old ‘kid’, but I think I can understand your feelings now.”  The note continued to offer assistance in listening to my grief at that difficult time, and a reminder that this would be available whenever needed. This caring young woman also wrote she would understand if I thought her too young, but assured me she wanted to be of help.

Several bottled-up tears rolled down my cheeks as I refolded the note and tucked it in my pocket. There was a palpable lessening of the ache in my chest and a deep breath was finally possible.

Dear friends, that was an Easter moment—when the extended love of another brought NEW LIFE.

May each of us rejoice in those moments when love extended unconditionally brings us comfort—and the ability to breathe deeply once more. And, may we have courage to reach out with the life-giving love—even when we fear someone might think it “odd.”

Published by Susan Flemr

Retired former nurse and former Lutheran pastor. Happily living with her husband of 53 years in Des Moines Iowa. Two married sons and their beautiful families in Nichols, IA and Colorado Springs, CO.

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