Last week, my son and I made the trip back to my hometown. The reason for it was to clear out my Dad’s room at the nursing home.
He had a few pieces of furniture that we were offered to us by my youngest brother.
It was a somber day with all kinds of roadblocks.
First, the cargo van we had reserved wasn’t available when I went to pick it up. I will let this clip from Seinfeld explain:
So, we found a truck from U-Haul to do the job. It was a hundred dollars more than the van would have been.
We also had some rain to deal with. Just an ominous start.
Add in the sadness and finality of the situation, this was going to be a long day.
When we arrived at the home, we went about figuring out the best way to load the furniture in the truck. A 7 foot long couch, three end tables. and two dressers.
The couch was the one, as my daughter pointed out later, that we all fell asleep on after Thanksgiving dinner at Mom and Dad’s. It is full of memories.
My parents believed in buying quality furniture. Quality means heavy. Very heavy.
After a lot of effort, the room was empty and the truck was full.
As we were walking back to the room for one last look, a man appeared at the end of the hall. He was wondering why the door to the room was open. As we got closer, he recognized us.
When our son started kindergarten, there was a meeting of parents. At that meeting we met, Mark and his wife. His son was my son’s age. Our families have known each other ever since. Mark coached my son one year in basketball. We hadn’t seen each other since our family moved away.
He talked about visiting with Dad during his stay there. He helped with his therapy and when Dad became too ill to continue any kind of therapy. Mark still came down to his room and visited. They talked about baseball. About a week before Dad died, he asked Mark a question.
“It isn’t going to be much longer, is it?”
Mark said Dad seemed to be at peace.
As I mentioned in my last post, the funeral, especially the eulogy, was extremely difficult for my family. As the days have passed, we have all struggled with what-ifs.
As we talked to Mark, I noticed my son seemed to be a little more animated than he had been since the funeral. Knowing that a guy we knew for over 16 years had spent time with Dad in his final days when we couldn’t be there meant a lot.
It was a great comfort.
And…..here is the best part. Mark didn’t make the connection that Dad was related to us when he was visiting. He was just being kind to one of his patients.
So, if you believe in Karma or angels, Mark was at the right place at the right time.
As we thanked Mark for his kindness, the sun came out.
My son and I went to the truck for the long drive back. He said, “That was a better ending.”