Not the Last Goodbye

About two weeks ago, my husband Veroni and I were running separate errands in separate towns. When I had finished and got back into my car, I switched on the car radio and heard on the news that there had been an accident on the exact road that I knew he would be traveling on. According to the news, the road was closed and there were two fatalities. No.

I called Veroni immediately to find out if he was okay, but he didn’t answer. I called him 4 more times and when he didn’t pick up, my heart started racing more and more. Why is he not picking up his phone?

Then I went on the internet to see what else I could find out about the accident, and I saw the accident video of a truck and two cars that had been involved. One of the cars was burned out and lying upside-down, but it resembled our Volvo, the car I knew he would be driving with.

In a split second, I was sweating and my heart was beating out of my chest. I couldn’t stop shaking. This cannot be my husband. This cannot be Veroni. Right away, I called police in our home town and asked whether they knew anything about the accident. But no, they didn’t have any information about it, and said that I should call the police in another town.

The other police told me that all of their people were still on the scene and they hadn’t received any information yet. I said, “Listen to me. My husband was on that road and he’s not answering his phone. Can’t you just call someone at the scene and ask what types of cars were involved in the accident?”

So finally – reluctantly I might add – the policewoman took down my information and said she would call me back. I called him again, just in case, and he still wasn’t picking up. And in that moment, the thought hit me and flowed through me: He’s dead. He was in that accident. It was the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my entire life – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And immediately I thought, I have to get to the accident right now but there’s no way I can drive myself in this state. Who can I possibly find to drive me?

Determined, I decided to go to the pharmacy to get something to just calm me down, because I was shaking and I felt ill, like I was going to throw up. But just before I got back into the car, I called him one last time.

And he answered.

He said that he was home and that his phone had been on silent. And you know, he kept apologizing over and over for causing me this much anxiety, but I wasn’t even angry with him. I just thought, Thank you God, my husband is alive. I had gotten a message from him much earlier in the day letting me know that he was going to be eating breakfast somewhere and that he loved me and missed me, and I had wondered, “Is this the last message I’ll ever have from my husband? The Last Goodbye?” But it wasn’t the Last Goodbye.

But how do we know when it will be?

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Blessed

My husband and I watched the sunrise together this morning.

It was awesome and life giving. I remembered then that it was the one year anniversary of the passing of a friend of ours. There was this contrast between the rising sun on the one hand, and on the other, the sadness of having to have said the final goodbyes. Sometimes we get the opportunity to say them, and sometimes they are said for us through sudden change of circumstances. But they are final.

This friend’s wife’s journey of the past year has been, to say the least, astounding. She is incredibly courageous, positive, hopeful, practical, wise, graceful, peaceful transparent,honest and caring. She has come through so much since the horrific accident they suffered a year ago. She has an incredible story and testimony of God’s grace and love, as do her children.

The sunrise reminded me of the following:

“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

In honour of her and her family, I am sharing a poem she wrote today:

BLESSED

One year today
One very very long year
It seems as impossible now
as it seemed then
It seems as unfathomable now
as it did then
It is as real now
as it was then
That I will never
hear you
say my name again
That I will never
feel you wrap me
in your arms again
That I will never
wake up and hear
you breathe again
But you left me
your eyes
in the eyes
of a son
and you left me
your smile
in the smile
of a son
And your laughter
will be with me always
My memories
are the colour of
your kindness
The gift of your love
changed my life
forever
I am so blessed
so, so blessed!

– Karin, May 17th, 2016