Grace Under Duress

My husband and I drove 80 miles for the viewing of the husband of his former supervisor.  But, before I begin this story, I want to fill you in.

Over a year ago, Scott had 2 grand mal seizures while he was at a men’s Bible study at church.  He was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  This had never happened before.  Florida state law says that if you’ve had a seizure, then you can not drive for 6 months!  SIX MONTHS!  I promised the neurologist that Scott wouldn’t drive and that I would do all of the driving.  I think that I had convinced him so well that he didn’t turn Scott’s license in.

Without being able to drive, my husband, a law enforcement officer, would not be able to work under his law enforcement certification.  Enter a 6 month, unwelcome, vacation with a chauffeur.  During this time, my husband’s former supervisor called him and sent a card.  She called me to check up on him and to check up on me.  She was so gracious.

Fast forward to this weekend. Thursday, this lovely woman’s husband died suddenly and unexpectedly.  He was only 53.  Just a couple of months younger than my husband.  When we got the information on the funeral and viewing, I insisted on going.  It was the least I could do.  His death is the 6th one in 6 months connected to my husband’s coworkers.  Death is getting pretty old at his employer’s.

I saw all sorts of people there.  Young, old, retired, current coworkers, family, and friends.  They had all come to pay their respects to this man, gone too soon, and to his wife and daughter.  There were a lot of tears; both women and men.  I watched the wife and daughter hold back many times when they were being encouraged and loved on.

The one thing that amazed me most of all was watching the wife.  I watched her smile at another approaching mourner as if to welcome them.  (As a side note, I wonder if her gift is hospitality?)  And while her mouth didn’t always make that complete smile, her eyes did.  I watched her take every single hug that was offered.  She held on as if she was drowning and needed the offered life vest.  Her daughter, knowing even less of those attending, took those hugs too.

They were doling out grace all the while taking it in from those that offered it.  It was a beautiful sight.  I’m not even sure anyone else noticed, but I did.

Scott and I stayed and sat for about 30 minutes, speaking to those coworkers whom we knew.  I met a few people.  Heck of a place to meet someone, doncha think?

As we walked to the parking lot, I was telling Scott what I had seen in his coworker’s face.  I told him that I wasn’t sure how she did it, but God forbid it ever happen to me like that, I would feel just about like dying.  It was pretty quiet in the car for the first half an hour as we rode through the rural area and looked out the window.

I told this story to my coworker this morning and her response was “grace”.  That was what was on her face.  I really think that’s the truth of it, too.

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