Funerals are never fun. I was dreading this one more than usual.
Imagine The Nicest Man you ever met in your life. He’s soft spoken and never, ever utters a harsh word to anyone. He preaches at a Baptist Church on Sunday. He reads his Bible before work every morning. He is rumored to have been a great athlete (Olympic material) in his younger days. He’s now got a severe limp and walks with a cane. I don’t know the true story of how that came to be and never quite got around to asking him. It seemed calloused to ask… He’s a ridiculously handsome and well-built man with a shiny bald head and warm brown eyes. He’s an awesome Engineer. He has seven beautiful children, ranging in age from twenty-something down to single digits. He designed and built his own home and it’s quite the showplace. He’s a published author. I met him twelve years ago and shortly after I met him, I heard him sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and it brought tears to my eyes. Every year on my birthday he limps up to me and wishes me Happy Birthday with a big, warm bear hug. His name is Bob and today, the hug we shared was for an entirely different reason; the worst you can imagine.
Bob’s daughter, Bobbi died. She was shot in the head by a gang-member’s bullet, intended for someone else. She lived in Philadelphia, the mother of two of Bob’s grandchildren and pregnant with a third. She was studying to be a nurse, following in the footsteps of her maternal grandmother, Doris. Doris was the attending nurse when I gave birth to both of my kids, a feisty woman who took not an ounce of crap from a doctor, another nurse or anyone else for that matter. She loved “her babies” like no other nurse I ever came across. Bobbie would have done well to become the nurse that her grandmother was. Bobbie would have turned 27 years old yesterday, the same week that she died.
I will be saying a prayer for that family every day for the rest of my life.