1st weekend I drove 3 hours North East to move my brother to a new town, job and situation. It's a good move for him and I'm happy for him. Of course the kiddos were sad and they cried for 30 minutes on the way home. On that Saturday, I learned that one of my favorite people was in the hospital and not doing well. The town he and his wife live in is probably 2 1/2 hours South of where I was and then another 3 hours home. So I decided to make the trip the next weekend.
The 2nd weekend came around, and we (the kids and I again) drove the 3 hours East to go see this favorite person of mine, who is by this time, in hospice. Yeah, totally not good. So we, my best friend and I go see my person. It was really sad, because he hardly resembled himself, but I talked to him and joked with him for a while. His mind and humor were completely intact, in spite of how tired he was. His room was full of family, some I knew and some I didn't. I'm not related to him but one of his daughters was married to someone I've known since I was a kid, who later became part of my step-family. (but that's a side point) The way he became one of my favorite people is a sweet story, though. When I was about 20/21 or so, my other best friend and I were looking for a place to rent together. We had always planned to be room-mates. Well, somehow we heard that someone in our congregation had a little trailer on their place and they might consider renting it out. I say little, but really it was pretty roomy for two girls with hardly any stuff. 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 bath. It was the wife, who was in our congregation, and her husband wasn't so we didn't know him. In spite of that, we did all our dealing with him and I don't really know what it was about him that both of us fell in love with (not in a gross way, b/c he is older than both of our dads) but he had this mischievous twinkle in his eyes and such a cute funny smile. Anyway, after talking to him a while and looking at how much work we would have to do to the place, he gave us the price he thought fair. To be totally honest, we thought it was fair, too, but we still needed to think about it and talk about before we'd give him a certain 'yes' or 'no' answer. I think we were about to get in the car to go, and he chased us down and said he'd forgotten about some certain little detail and said he would rent it to us for THIS amount instead of the one we had talked about just a few minutes ago. We didn't quite understand how his calculations came down after he remembered that, because it would actually have added to the cost, but come down it did, and we totally jumped on it, in case he might come to his senses and change his mind. I think though, that he fell in love with us, too, and that he just wanted to rent it to us. It was such a sweet deal, I'm almost embarrassed, thinking back, at how cheap it really was. We fixed up that trailer like mad, we painted it all kinds of crazy colors and loved it with all our hearts. He took really good care of us, if anything was the slightest bit broken, he noticed it and fixed it before we ever knew about it. We really loved living there and getting to know him and we had such fun teasing him and joking around with him. He even named a cow for each of us! LOL - that was a privilege reserved for his grandkids, and nieces and nephews, and it was a very serious business in their family, because if anyone got left out, well, they were VERY upset over it. At that time (and I know this paragraph is waxing on past the realms of grammar's rules, but bear with me, it's a weekend theme) my best friend and I were both full time ministers, basically like domestic missionaries - which means we tried to spend 90 hours a month going out knocking on doors trying to encourage people and doing bible studies with those who wanted them. I already mentioned, he wasn't in the habit of coming to our congregation, but his wife had been a member a long time. Well, my best friend and I had parts in the meetings sometimes, and we'd beg him to come see. And of course he'd fit spit (figuratively) and be cantankerous and give us trouble. However, we eventually softened him up and got him to come here and there. Then we'd have parts at bigger Assemblies and then we'd really lay on the sugar and spice and everything nice to get him to come to see those parts, because they really are few and far between. And he came and listened. Well, longer story a little less long. We both at different times found ourselves called away from there, but he kept on going to the meetings and assemblies and eventually he came on into the congregation. I'm not saying it was because of us, but I know we helped him along part of the way. So all in all, he's a really special guy for us - for me, and I really love him and his family. --- So back to the present. I saw him Saturday for about an hour and a half or so, and he was really needing some rest. His family, all but two, had been filtering out during that time, and were coming back in the morning. So at the end of our visit it was me, my other best friend, and him, his wife and one of his daughters (and a tiny little dog she takes with her everywhere, cute cute thing) Well, I thought he needed some sleep, so I kissed him on the head and told him goodbye. Somewhere between 11 and 12:30 that night, he passed away, so I had just gotten there in the nick of time. It was really really sad, but I was very VERY glad to have seen him and spoken to him one last time.
The 3rd weekend rolls around and we drive back, to attend his memorial service, which was Friday. It was really a nice service, and I spoke some more with his wife and daughters and spent the weekend just unwinding with my best friend. (not the one from the story above, my other one) I didn't mention in the 2nd weekend's story, though, that this best friend and her family are moving to another state VERY soon, so I'm sad and happy about that, as well. Sad for me, and happy for them. They really need a change, too, and I'm glad they are able to make one happen.
So that's the last three weekends, summed up, there's a little more, to the 3rd weekend than what's written that's I'm leaving out - suffice it to say when it rains it pours and I cry