It’s been an interesting time, lately.  Seems many people I’m acquainted with are passing away.  Surprisingly, Granny isn’t one of them at this time.

In fact, while visiting Granny, Gi-gi’s next-older brother sat down to watch the Super Bowl, had a massive heart attack, and died.  He was going to root for Arizona, anyway, so it’s likely the game itself would’ve done him in anyway (I jest!).
Last week, my Grandpa’s (who died early Nov.) youngest brother ended up in the hospital with some diabetes complications (he’s also an alcoholic, I think), but signed himself out, went home AMA, and was gone within a few days.
Also last week, the husband/father/grandfather of a family I’m associated with on several levels was told he had diabetes (he’d been quite ill, suddenly, though losing weight for a year).  That didn’t answer all the questions, and he ended up in the hospital for the weekend (this family is quite into alternative therapies, herbs, organic stuff… I can imagine the decision to go to the hospital was no small one).  Before his hospital stay was over, he was told he had inoperable pancreatic cancer.  He went home, was surrounded by family for a few days, and passed away yesterday morning.
The other day I was told that my nearest neighbor up the drive also had pancreatic cancer (is this stuff contagious?  crazy!).  This man is much older (I think) than the other man, and has a younger (though still of-retired-age) stepdaughter (I think??) who caretakes him.  I haven’t seen much of them all winter.  I stopped by yesterday and met the gal’s sister who was there while my neighbor was out.  She said they were “losing him.”
Too, I’m sure you heard that Paul Harvey died last week.
I wonder if it’s just my turn to witness the passing of a generation this year, or if I just happen to know a lot of older people.  The families of these men (all men, too) are grieving, and I just wish I could do more for them.  Of course there’s not much anyone can do to ease that kind of pain. I pray for them all, of course.  I spent a few days prepping (NT style) for homemade bread (the first I’ve made in months!) and chili (I just pre-cooked about 15 lbs of pintos last week), and took a gallon and loaf of each to each nearby family, along with a dozen cookies or so.  The family who just lost their husband/dad/grandpa isn’t likely to notice much by way of all that; they have 8 children, some of whom are married and have handfuls of kids of their own. 🙂  One gallon of chili and a loaf of bread would need a bit of ‘loaves and fishes’ miracle to make much difference there!  I was in and out quickly, as I didn’t want to intrude on such an important and meaningful time for their family, though I’m not sure that was the best action, either (I had already planned to drop the items by a day earlier, not knowing that he would pass away that morning).  As I delivered my goods, a man in a suit (who I assumed to be a funeral director or somesuch) and another man were bringing a stretcher into the home.
.Oh wow.… as I write this at 5:15 p.m., I just glanced out my window here, from the upstairs…  A covered stretcher was just taken from the front door of my neighbors’ home and loaded into a van.  I’m just speechless.  It’s not like I’m in the medical field and see this every day.  Mortality is all around me, it seems.
Oh, Lord, help me to minister your love and comfort where you wish it.  May I be a willing tool in your hand for any of these who sorrow…
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