Remember in my last post when I said we had lost a family member while he was in custody? (See Here). Something happened this weekend that I feel the need to write about, that relates to him.
A little back story……he was a loving and caring person, whom everyone loved. He died tragically and suddenly, when no one was expecting it. He left behind brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, a child, and a whole bunch of family who love and miss him dearly. And, in the blink of an eye, two and a half years have passed by.
My youngest daughter, who is now seven, was extremely close to him. They were like peas and carrots. She had him wrapped around her finger, and he adored her. When he passed, she had a very tough time with the loss. She speaks of him often, and we never discourage it.
Flash forward to this weekend. My three kids and I went to the mall on Saturday. My youngest was in need of new tennis shoes, and, after getting a pair of Vans with kitty cats on them (sums up my daughter perfectly), we decided to head to the food court to get some lunch. In the usual fashion, we all wanted to go to different places there to eat. My son went to go get us a table, as my girls and I went to the first place. It was my seven year olds pick first. As we made it through the line, I saw a the girl at the cash register eyeing me. I glanced back at my daughter as she was ordering her sandwich. We made it to the end, and were at the register. The young man, that was helping get my daughter’s food ready, was talking with her about how funny she was.
The girl behind the cash register, in a soft spoken voice, told me my total. As, I handed her a twenty, I realized who she was. It was the girl who was dating our relative at the time of his passing. They had been together for almost a year before he passed. If he was visiting at our house, she was there, too. They both made sure to always spend time with my children. We were all bonded. I hadn’t seen her since the day of the funeral, two and a half years ago. As, I pointed her out to my youngest daughter, I was flooded with memories past. My daughter ran around the corner, and hugged her tightly saying, “I’ve missed you a lot!”
She told my daughter she had missed her, too. I told her that it was really good to see her, and we began to walk off. I turned to look back at her, and saw that she was crying. Apparently, seeing us had flooded her with emotion as well. I looked at my oldest daughter, and said, “I can’t just walk away with her crying. I just can’t.” So, I turned back around, and headed back to the food place. She was in the back still crying. I asked if I could go back there, just as she looked up to see I had come back. We walked towards each other, and embraced as soon as we met. She sobbed as I hugged her, and said, “It’s so hard without him here.” My heart broke, and I didn’t want to let her go.
Her boss told her she could take a little break, so we invited her to sit with us. The kids talked with her about what they had been doing lately, and she caught us up on her life. We talked about how it’s hard going on, and how we have to continue moving forward. She had to get back to work, so we all hugged one last time, and parted ways.
What a chance encounter, with a person who is tied to us by someone we truly miss. Meeting by fate because the one little girl who misses him the most, wanted to eat at that particular place that day. And each of us had our semi healed wounds torn open a bit, and had other parts start to heal. Memories are eternal, and I am sure time does heal all wounds. But I think that some wounds just take a little more time than others.