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May 30, 2007

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Chris

When I was just a few months past fourteen years old my grandmother passed away. Grandpa had gone a few months earlier, so I was familiar with the routine of funeral homes and churches and drives to the gravesite... We went to the funeral home (I assume, I really can't remember), then to the church. After the service all the cars were lined up to go to the cemetery, family following right behind the hearse. I was not at all prepared for Pops, who had been a rock through both his parents' illnesses and deaths, to hand me the keys to the car. He got in the back seat and broke down in the most heartbreaking, wrenching, utterly lonely sobs I've ever heard. Mother got in beside him and quietly held him for the ten-mile drive to the cemetery as I drove, lip quavering, with my 5- and 6-year old brother and sister next to me in the front seat.

Watching a parent cry and realizing that they're human is a very powerful thing.

Janet

Jenne,

Funny you should write this post...

Just the other evening, I was telling John that I only saw my father cry twice in my life. Once was when we got a phone call that his mother had died. I was probably in high school when that happened.

The other was when his beloved little terrier died. She was 17, and he must have been about 60. Daddy cried all evening.

Both times broke my heart.

He'd always be the one who could comfort me best when I cried. And I didn't know what to do to help him but just be there.

Janet

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