Monday, October 3, 2011

Sam's rainbow

My friend C, who spent much of the summer preparing a new place to live for herself and her older brother Sam, spent Friday with family and friends, celebrating Sam's life at his funeral and accompanying his body to the cemetery.

In one of life's cruel twists, Sam had collapsed and died while in California participating in a Sports Clinic for disabled vets.

For the last six or so years following Sam's stroke, C has been her brother's primary caregiver and tireless cheerleader, advocate, and seeker of services for him. She had just gotten a new job that requires quite a bit of travel, so she found a new place for them to live that allowed him easy access to public transportation to get to the programs and services that he was involved in, so that he could have as much independence as possible while she was on the road. They had moved into their new place just 3 weeks before his death.

He had worked hard to qualify to go to San Diego. It was where he wanted to be. He had also just qualified to participate in permanent employment through the VA, something that had been beyond his reach until now, and was going to go complete the final step when he got back from San Diego. Life was good, probably the best since his stroke.

The weather on Friday was predicted to be pretty bad - lots of high wind and rain. The sky over Lake Michigan near the church was dramatic with dark storm clouds, the beach covered with crashing waves, but the rain held off until later in the afternoon. I was able to attend the funeral but not the burial. C called me later in the afternoon to tell me how things had gone at the cemetery, and while we were on the phone, it started raining. We talked about how appropriate the weather had been for the funeral, and how good it was that the rain had held off.

While we talked, I walked outside to see if there might be a rainbow, since the rain had come while there was sun shining through breaks in the clouds. Yes! And C could see it from her place, too. I was able to get a picture for her before the rainbow disappeared.

The rainbow felt like a blessing to end a difficult yet wonderful day.


  1. You captured the most beautiful sight of all.
    I am so sorry to read about Sam. My God, life hands us some difficult situations.
    I send you love and appreciation for what a wonderful and loving spirit you are.
    Life is such a gift, is it not? But sometimes there are huge spaces and places in our path.
    You are such a "keeper" and "clearer" of these paths.
    Sending love your way, e.

  2. You are lighting the way that many of us haven't experienced yet. Thank you. I very much agree with Ellen's comments.


Thank you!