Mountain Mama called me at work today. I saw her cell number on my caller ID at work and got a little nervous. When she calls me at work, it's usually on my cell. I got more nervous when I heard her teary voice.
"Laurel, I've got some bad news," she began. My mind whirled. Not my dad! Or my brother or his kids! Maybe my only aunt? I sat down.
"The minister's husband was killed in a car wreck yesterday evening. She was at a board meeting yesterday and hadn't heard from him yet. Then a few hours later, she found out about the accident. The wreck was so bad that it burned for 2 hours before they could get him out. Of course he was gone by then."
Mountain Mama and Daddy's minister is a really neat person whom I like a lot. I consider her my minister as I haven't yet found a church home here and my registration is still there, even though I can only make it a few times a year for services.
"Oh, my God! That's terrible. God bless her and the kids, and may He give them the strength they'll need. How is she?" I asked.
"Our friends spent the night with her. She's doing as well as she can be, and the kids will be coming today, which will help."
As we talked I looked it up online in the hometown paper, I felt an embarrassing sense of relief. Yes, it's terrible and I feel for the minister and her children, the youngest of whom started college this fall. But I breathed a little easier than I had before. My family was all fine. And then, of course, I felt guilty. I can't imagine what's like to lose my father so young. Actually, I can't imagine it now. I began my prayers for them.
Mountain Mama was still describing the horrific accident and memorial details along with the shock and disbelief. "I guess you just never know when your time will come," she said.
"Mama, Daddy's on the other phone. Let me call you back. I love you," I said, because Mountain Mama is right, as always. You never know. And when I called her back after I talked to Mountain Daddy, I ended the same way.
And that's why every time I talk to her, I tell her that I love her. Because you never know.
Prayers are appreciated for the minister and the congregation. They are used to being on the receiving end of her comfort. I'm praying that they, and I, will be able to comfort her half as well.