A death in the family

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My brother’s first wife, the mother of my nieces and one of my nephews, died last night.  She was an odd duck and was never really accepted into our family.  The marriage ended badly, and the divorce was not a happy one.  Nonetheless I honor her bravery in leaving her home country of South Africa to be with my not-always-easy brother.   She adapted to life in Baton Rouge (imagine!) and became an integral part of the community and a beloved music teacher.  She was always cheerful despite suffering poor health in the past several years.  She was a devoted and resourceful mother and even while married to my brother dealt with his frequent absences (he’s a concert pianist and travels a lot for gigs) with grace.  I mourn her loss and grieve with her children, aged 19, 17, and 13.

Her death was unexpected and cruelly swift.  The kids were not with her when she died.  My younger niece had a birthday this past Monday.  My older niece threw her a surprise sleepover party at her (the elder’s) apartment Saturday night.  After fielding the call from the hospital, the big sister had the awful job of calling her little sister’s friends’ parents in the middle of the night, to ask them to pick up their kids.

If you’re of a mind to pray, please pray for those three shellshocked children.

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