With a heavy heart, I write this post. I’m up in the middle of the night again. It’s shaping up to be a horrible week. Sunday afternoon, Crystal called. She was hysterical, and it was hard to understand her. The husband of my other niece, Crystal’s sister, had died in an accident on the way home from church. Jeff was a sweet guy with a big heart, and only 49.
He had wanted my niece to go to church with him Sunday morning, but she begged off, telling him she was swamped at work. She wanted to work from home, and try to catch up. She is stunned. She told me that she was trying to “digest” it all, but couldn’t seem to.
My niece and her husband were one of those couples who do well together. They seemed to get through the tough times by holding on to each other, and they enjoyed the good times with gusto. They just returned from a week at the Outer Banks. They had so much fun that they added a couple of days to their vacation. She hadn’t even unpacked yet.
Only a couple of weeks ago, I sat with both my nieces on Crystal’s deck as the sun inched its way down behind a big, old pecan tree in the backyard. I told her that she’d made a good choice in her husband. That he was a good guy. She said, “I think I’ll keep him.” How could we have known how ironic that comment would become in only a couple of weeks?
I will remember Jeff as the big, muscle-ly guy with the bald head who could be found with the newest baby at family gatherings, cooing and cuddling with his whole heart showing. His insides were as soft as his outer appearance was tough. He fooled no one. You’d have to be blind not to see what a sweetheart he was.