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It was a Sunday morning and I was busy running to and fro in the church building answering to the beck and call of a half dozen people. Steve, Sue and the kids had just returned from Minnesota where they had attended Steve’s mother’s funeral. I wanted to express my sympathy, especially since Steve had just lost his father a little over a year previous. I couldn’t even imagine losing a parent. I shuddered at the thought.
The hall was jammed with people, chatting after service, making lunch plans. I saw the back of Sue’s head in the distance and headed in that direction. I was in luck. They were picking up the kids from their classes. I would be able to see all of them without hunting them down.
Sue turned to face me. Her right eye was swollen shut.
“What happened?” I gasped.
“The doctors say it’s a brain tumor. I’m going in for surgery Tuesday.”
I was stunned. She’d only been gone ten days. We’d been garage sale-ing the Saturday before they had left and I had to talk her out of buying me a couch. Looking at Steve, or “Mr. Positive” I was sure I’d find reassurance and confirmation that Sue must be exaggerating. Instead, I found a slight nod and a pained glance.
“Tell your parents that I love them,” she said.
“Sue, you can tell them yourself when you’re better,” I forced a smile.
She paused, “And talk to my kids about me.”
Tears tumbled down my cheeks, “Don’t talk like that, Sue. You’ll be just fine.”
She hugged me, and that’s all I can remember.
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