Saturday January 14th 2017, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

A footnote at the beginning: yes I asked her directly probably twenty years ago and she said he was fine but it was clear that being reminded of his illness was not something she wanted brought up, or at least not just then, so I respected that and never did again.

Today we gathered ’round to say goodbye to Lorna. Two weeks ago she was still playing the piano in church at 91. She had a stroke last weekend and held on a few days so her family could arrive to say goodbye, and then she was off to be with her long-missed George.

I was talking to one of her sons after the funeral and mentioned her elementary-school grandson who had lived with her for a year while fighting cystic fibrosis. (Having Stanford Hospital nearby was a good thing.) I had always wondered. Had he lived?

That’s Jeremiah, and he’s my son, the man said, surprised and gratified.

Yes, Jeremiah! He was a grade ahead of my oldest. She was in fourth and he in fifth that year.

The man thought a moment. He’s 35–he corrected himself without having been wrong the first time: He’ll be 36 this year.

Will be is a wonderful thought all unto itself, and in the context of why we were where we were we both knew it. I told him, Please tell him that Sam’s mom asked after him; he may not remember me but I imagine he’ll remember her.

He was very touched. It meant a lot to him.

I did not say that I remembered Jeremiah going through such a terrible emotional struggle with his disease that year and how he’d needed all the support he could get, as did they all. Now, whatever all else life might throw at him, he can always remember that someone remembered him from so long ago and that that someone still cared. Nor am I alone in that.

I’m so glad I went. We never know all the ways in which we might be exactly what someone else needs right then.

Or the dad, for that matter.

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