The ski mountain was deserted. Asherel and I had the whole mountain all to ourselves, with just a handful of people. It was peaceful, and quiet. It took us a few runs to remember how to ski, but like so many skills in life, the memory never quite fades away. And when I stood on top of the mountain, looking down, I could hear the angels sing.
While on the mountain, I got a text from my 93 year old friend's daughter, Angie. She told me her mom, Evelyn, had passed away that morning. Meanwhile Comer had been in such intractable pain that she had moved him to a hospice center, with the hopes of better controlling the pain. When she gently broke the news to him, he thought she was making a bad joke, went back to sleep, and slept the whole day. My heart is heavy, and I cannot bear to witness the grief I know he will have to endure when he awakens.
On the car rides I used to take Comer and Evelyn on, even in the throes of Alzheimers, she used to sing. She could not speak or string two coherent words together in conversation, but she would remember every word of every song from the 30's to 60's or so. She and I would belt out song after song, while Comer grinned, holding her hand.
"Well now," he would say, "That's a might fine concert."
Maybe when I stood atop the mountain feeling I heard angels singing, it was Evelyn, freed from the struggles that had so overwhelmed her, touching my heart with her music one last time for my mortal ears to hear.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. Psalm 104:33
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