As Fate, the Universe, or the Good Lord calls, this past Friday night we received word ambulances and police were at my daughter's in-laws' house. Everyone wrongly assumed the older husband with a bad heart, diabetes, and rather negative view on life.

After attending a Christian concert, they walked home then watched TV. Her husband thought his wife had fallen asleep and nudged her foot. When she didn't respond, he slapped her face, then called my son-in-law and daughter.

Christine, his beloved, cheerful, laughing, loving, robust wife of almost 46 years died without a fuss in the living room, leaving all who knew and loved her, stunned, devastated.

She had planned her funeral down to one vase of red roses, Scripture readings, hymns. What she did not plan was how many people whose lives she touched, the chapel overflowing. My sons wore suits. We brought my mother and her O2. I hadn't planned on speaking, but did. Ninety-plus degrees and humid, the weather affected everyone despite air conditioning.

Their middle son, who is deploying again spoke. Everyone cried as he thanked his mother for being the perfect mother for him, for taking care of his old Beagle. Later, I hugged him, this big Marine, shaken to his core, saying "We will be there for you," knowing I was comforting a brokenhearted son.

Brevity Quest 2016 230

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