|Bob's family, picture taken in 2005; Keith is in the front center.|
To make things worse, this March started with processing the loss of Michael's father on February 27, and the loss of my father-in-law, Keith Mosher, on March 4. Both funerals took place on March 8, a mere 650 kilometers apart. While I mourned not being able to be with my loved ones during a time of grief - both to comfort and to be comforted - I also recognized that even if I had been in North America, there is no way I could have been at both services. I also knew that these type of events would happen. It is a given when you live overseas that you wonder who will die in your absence. We have been very blessed that since 2005 there have not been many family deaths.
But logistics aside, losing loved ones is always significant and causes a lot of nostalgia and reflection. As I watched family videos on my computer during the funerals, while being so far away, I contemplated both loss and gain. I contemplated the brevity of life and how quickly it changes. I reflected on my life and remembered a poem that I had read some time back by Longfellow:
Loss And Gain
|Hannah and Noah with their Grandpa and Grandma.|
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.
I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.
But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.
Who shall dare to measure loss and gain in this wise? Indeed. Wise words.
|Bob's mom and step-dad, Lucille and Keith, married 44 years. While not Bob's biological father, Keith was a loving grandfather to Hannah and Noah, and I know he loved me very much as well.|
|#1: Location: Ghana. This first one is easy.|
|#2: Context: We are in a hospital in Milan, Italy (Bob is the patient) and they just brought in the hospital food. What does the look on his face mean?|
|#3 Context - Liberia: A nightly ritual of helping children get jiggers out of their toes. Bob has a needle in his hands and those are Enoch's feet. What is he saying to him?|