In the weeks before he died, she and their sons spent a lot of time staring, eyes affixed on a face that graced the earth for 62 years.
“Will he eat today?”
“Is he comfortable?”
“What will we do when the moment comes?”
All questions natural to a family adoring of a man of faith and fun, adventurous, loyal and feisty to the core.
One day not too long ago when a spark ignited behind the eyes weary from pancreatic cancer, he said:
“Stop staring at me.”
Always gentle, he repeated. “No really, stop staring at me.”
It occurred to her today, just a two weeks after he died, what he really meant.
Her Pete wanted his wife and their sons to look up.
Up to the heavens, up to the place his face would soon grace. Up to his and their Creator for strength and peace and love.
“It’s not me, it’s Him.”
Today, his Fran returns to work and I expect as she looks up, He and he is looking down on her.
Because I saw Fran on her brave morning walk – I have been blessed. I am reminded as I often was in the brief but impactful time I knew my neighbor, Pete; there is more – so much more than what is right before our eyes. And it is beautiful and wondrous and our gift from God. Just look up.
On a day when I am full with worry of my children – each burdened with questions about the unknowns of a young adult life. Answers to which can only come with wisdom and time and living. Things over which I have no control.
I am reminded to stop staring at them.
I am reminded to look up.
For Pete’s sake, I will.
Thank you, Fran.
Thank you, Pete.