Marlene and Kevin
I lost someone I dearly love this past week….and while my sorrow runs deeper than I ever expected it to….I’m left in awe of the commitment of those on the other side to be there for us in our time of need.
Kevin was diagnosed with lung cancer in February of 2010. That April he wound up in the hospital. I went to visit every morning and sometimes just sat with him while he slept. His condition was grave and, fearing the worst, I wondered who’d be there to greet him when his time came. No one responded, but Marlene…..and if you read a little further down in this blog there’s an explanation of who she is. Marlene quietly stated, “I’ll be there.” That’s really sweet I thought, but he doesn’t know you. She said, “He will.” And that was the end of that conversation.
Given his condition and the fact that he’s a bachelor I decided to take over his groundskeeping duties and showed up every other week to cut the grass. One day while motoring around his half acre lot with a push mower, Marlene popped in and went, “Dst! Dst! Dst!” I stopped in my tracks and said aloud, “What?”
She intoned, “Tree.” I looked down and there was a twig sticking out of the ground with just a couple of leaves on it. I gently went around it and forged on. Suddenly Marlene chimed in again, “Dst! Dst! Dst!” I stopped the mower once more and said in a more exasperated tone, “What?”
“Tree,” came her response. This time the foot high twig was void of any leaves. I gently motored around it. Twice more Marlene kept me from shearing down the seedlings. I finished up and went inside to let Kevin know I was leaving. That’s when he let out a sigh of regret. “Oh no,” he said, “I forgot to tell you I planted four seedlings on the back left side of the yard. There’s not many leaves on them because the rabbits keep eating them. You didn’t run over them did you?”
Smiling, I said, “No. Marlene had you covered.”
“Who’s Marlene?” he asked. I filled him in, then left. As I drove away the realization dawned on me. You little shit, I teased, that was your way of introducing yourself, wasn’t it? She didn’t respond. It made me smile.
On Thursday, August 11th of this year I went over to his house to haul some concrete chunks to the dump. Kevin had been doing a basement reno and took a downward turn. He was back in the hospital. Since he and his mom were worried about how they’d get rid of the junk in the driveway I opted to lend a hand. I made many trips to the dump that day and in the end calculated that I’d hauled away nearly 2600 pounds of concrete debris. Around five o’clock I was heading off with the last load when I felt Marlene’s presence and heard her say, “I’m here.” Her tone of voice suggested I was expecting her. It didn’t register until 10:15 that night when Kevin’s mom called to say that he had died. As promised Marlene was there to meet him.
Though I’m sure his own family members were there to greet him, it gives me great comfort to know that Marlene was present. Over the past six years I have acted many times on her behalf and it’s truly a blessing that she’s willing to act on mine. Thank you Miss Marlene for being an angel in my life.
Kevin was a truly great friend to both myself and my husband…..and his passing leaves a hole in both our hearts. Though we will miss him deeply, we wish him all the best on the next leg of his journey. We love you Kev. Hugs and kisses to you….and to you Miss Marlene.
Originally posted in August of 2011