After work today, I found myself in the card aisle at our local grocery store, finding the sympathy section, or what was now called “Care and Concern”, or something to that effect. A childhood friend had texted me earlier today, telling me her chronically ill mother had passed away. Her mother, I knew, had a condition that affected her memories and mind. My friend told me her mother still remembered me at times, however, and had asked about me every so often. How this was possible, I’m not sure. But it really hit home with me that she had somehow preserved a memory of me in her illness. I hope it gave her some comfort.
I scanned the cards at the store, thinking about this and the time I had spent at their house, all the while holding my bag of lasagna noodles and French bread for making dinner tonight. I expected the cards to all be generic, with heartfelt messages like: “I’m sorry for the loss of your loved one” or “Our prayers are with you in this difficult time.” Nothing too personal, you know, nothing that says that awful, ill conceived phrase: “I understand.”