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This morning after our Bible study at Valhalla, I ran into an old friend from my early days at the Kings/Tulare UniServ Unit.  He looked more tired and less upbeat than when I last saw him a few months back, so my first question was about his wife.  With great sadness he told me he placed her in an Alzheimer’s care unit a couple of months ago.  They have been a couple for 50+ years, and although their marriage (like most eventually do) went through a very tough patch a number of years back, they have been partnered for most of their adult lives.

He is adrift, rattling around in the house “in town” they bought for their old age and fixed up for ease in navigating, hating to cook for only one, not knowing how to shop for only one.  She is in a secure care unit, not understanding why she can’t go home, moving from sadness to anger at being confined.  My heart is breaking for them both.

Then this evening I had a call from a colleague and friend, telling me of the suicide of one of our students.  And whether or not he had specifically been in my class, in a school as small as Woodville, each student belonged to every teacher.  I grieve the loss of this young man, barely out of his teens, and the little brother who will always wait for his big brother to come back home.  So much sadness, so much promise gone awry.

The bright light today?  While at Bible study, a couple stopped at our table to share a photograph of their most recent grandchildren…twins born just this morning and doing well.  It was my privilege to admire the picture and wish the family well, anticipating their joyful meeting at the hospital when their daughter was ready for visitors.

I am grateful for the bright lights that illuminate the darker parts of our days, and have promised to visit my friend’s wife (who has also been my friend for many years), even though I will have to explain to her who I am and why I am there.  I pray for God’s peace for all who are hurting tonight, and ask for Her safekeeping as we sleep.

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