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|Stopping for Joshua Bell - Page 8|
Another friend takes pictures of ordinary minutes that become moments under her compassionate attention. Recently I attended her father-in-law's funeral. As is now common, we watched a slideshow of pictures of the departed. But this display was different. Over the years, my friend had taken many pictures of him doing his ordinary activities. We saw photos of him doing a crossword puzzle, walking with his wife, feeding his birds, digging up bulbs, mowing his grass, making coffee, washing his car and reading stories to his grandchildren. With these photos, my friend had sanctified her father-in-law's days.
In July, Jim and I traveled with our friend and office partner from Nebraska to Copper Mountain, Colorado, to stay in Jan's family condo. Nine months earlier, Jan's husband, Jerry, had a heart attack in this condo. He had been life-flighted to Denver, and a week later died during open-heart surgery.
Jan wanted us to return to Colorado with her, ostensibly to make a financial decision about keeping this condo. However, on a deeper level, Jan realized this condo was the one place in her world where time had stood still. Since last September, her life in Nebraska had moved on. But at the condo, Jerry was as he had been on their last visit. In the odd logic of the heart, Jan could feel close to him there.
Jan, Jim and I have worked together as therapists for thirty years. We have nurtured each other's children, shared Thanksgiving dinners, and had decades of staff meetings and trips to professional development workshops. In all the years we've been partners, we have not had a tense hour or a harsh word between us. Even as I write this, it sounds too good to be true, but it is true. Jim and I were honored to accompany Jan on this pilgrimage.