Can't Believe It STILLAug 07, 2022
Thursday of last week I was on my way to pick up something from a friend and I had to go through the Portsmouth/Downtown tunnel. As I approached the tunnel, I was listening to worship music…a wave of memories flooded my mind, and I could barely see because I started crying so hard. The weeks of driving through the tunnel to love on my sweet friend Anne to bring her coffee, snacks, hugs, and maybe just a few minutes of respite while she sat by her husband’s bedside. Kitt (Kevin), was dying of appendiceal cancer. Each time I went I wondered (for weeks) if that would be my final goodbye to Kitt.
Anne and Kitt held me up throughout the ups and downs of my divorce in 2001. Their faith in Jesus carried me.
None of us could believe he was dying. After 50 plus days at Portsmouth Naval, Kitt went to be with Jesus on Dec 21, 2017. So the true, deep, gut wrenching grieving process started for Anne. Although, I guess it’s fair to say that her grieving started once he was diagnosed.
I got past the hospital exit and thought about the last 5 years and just continued to lament...
My mom was in one of her really bad, severe health cycles. I had just spoken with Anne on the phone a few days before she died and she insisted she was fine and to tend to my mother. She was doing was doing great with her knee surgery recovery and had plenty of her family with her. So I did just that, in fact, later that day, I had Mom admitted to the hospital. My sister in law had come in town to help so that Tom and I could get away for a few nights to celebrate our anniversary long before we knew Mom would be admitted to the hospital. We had just ordered at Dunkin Donuts when I go the call...2 years ago on the morning of August 7, the call from Gigi (Anne's mom) telling me she was gone. I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying....my sweet Annie had just died of a pulmonary embolism.
FAST FORWARD...I proceeded to drive to Suffolk to our friends to get what I needed and I was leaving when I realized how close I was to the cemetery where Anne and Kitt were buried. So I decided to stop.
I have memories of driving to my Dad’s grave almost monthly (45 min from where I lived in NC) and literally sitting for hours and crying and journaling. It was cathartic then but I was 16. As I drove up to the Military cemetery where they r both buried, it was much different. Rows and rows and rows of the exact same patterns and spacing.
As I cleaned off Anne’s gravestone, a flood of gratefulness washed over me. Grateful that this headstone wasn’t the end of Anne’s life or Kitt’s. Yet in a beautiful way, it represented their beginning of their new life with God for eternity. There was such a peace on Thursday that I know where they both are. John 3:16 says... "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Through all the yucky stuff my sweet friend Anne went through the years that proceeded Kitt's death, I knew she had a deep faith in Jesus. Some days it appeared misguided by some poor decisions. She was still struggling to find out who she was in this crazy world, but at the end of the day, she never lost her relationship with Jesus. She adored Kitt and had lots to process after he died. Quite frankly, she had a hard time grieving, she wanted to forget it all. I don't know what it is like to lose a spouse and while she talked to me a lot about it- there was a depth that I just couldn't understand. She had a hard time accepting it. As I look back 3 years, I see some of her choices as misguided heartbreak.
When the Lord called her home- it wasn't a shock to him, just to all of those left behind.
Anne was one of my biggest cheerleaders. She saw me the way I imagine the Lord sees all of us. Whole, enough, beautiful. It was always so crazy to me. She loved me BIG. While I miss her tremendously, I am so thankful she's with our Lord and Savior. He knew how this whole story would play out. I have so many questions surrounding her death but thankfully, I am NOT questioning where she is spending eternity. I miss you sweet friend. Until we meet again...
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