Today I answered the phone to learn we lost one of our ladies. I have written about her before, in my last blog post. I called her Eugenia. My heart stopped. I had been told she was sick and in the hospital, but to learn she had passed made me hurt. Jean spent part of the evening telling the ladies, and as part of the time where the ladies can gather to pray before the meal, she was remembered. Tomorrow there will be an ecumenical service in her memory, because the ladies have asked for such a thing. This is a special place, sisterhood is present here. The women care for each other. They genuinely mourn their sister.
My heart is aching at the loss of this soul that I knew only for a short time. She was full of fire and spunk. She was ill, yes, but that did not define her. She was caring, loving, and kind. She was always welcoming to those who were new. She would come tell you about the simple accomplishments that made her proud. “I finished my breakfast and lunch, Miss Rachel.” All the volunteers were Miss so and so. A redhead (I know my stepmom and a dear family friend or two who will enjoy that) and it suited her to a t). She would find an outfit she loved and come to show it off. If the dinner looked particularly good, she would say “Oh man, I’m coming back for seconds!” While I can’t tell you her full name, I will tell you that she proudly signed her middle name, Hope. And it suited her. She brought Hope to all. She was hopeful, loving, and kind. I will miss her. I will never forget her words to me, the last thing I remember her saying to me, “I just appreciate that you listen and really make me feel human again.” In her, I feel like I met an angel, one that was sent to give charge and benediction. Meet people where they are and give them the simple things you can, allow them to feel human again. Treat them as people, listen, don’t judge. Just be and feel. Be open. Another woman who need us desperately walked through our door. I can’t tell you her story. I just hope I can live up to that charge.
I know that tomorrow I will be here to mourn a wonderful person that I was lucky to know. So many go unmourned. I hope you will remember them today, tomorrow, and forever, because they deserve people who miss and remember and mourn them, too. No one should go unmourned. No one should die forgotten. Today that’s all I can think. My heart is heavy with this, except that I know heaven gained another angel who is waiting with a kind spirit and a loving word and smile.