Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why Stay When the Fairy-Tale Ending No Longer Exists?

by Beth Saadati

It was a gathering I’d neither expected—nor wanted—to host.

From 5-9 p.m. the Mackey Mortuary visitation line refused to end. Truth be told, I didn’t want it to. In order to stand, I needed the comforting presence of family and friends.

One after another they paused then passed by. From Miracle Hill Ministries, where my husband worked. The places where I taught. City Church. My daughter’s schools. Jenna’s extra-curricular activities—orchestra, Awana, homeschool co-op, Upward and rec-league sports. And, at the end, the entire Southside High School marching band.

Beautiful faces met my gaze with unspoken questions and tears. With tenderness, “I’m sorry” was said again and again. A scent-blend of perfume and cologne lingered on my clothes as I cherished the warmth of held hands and hugs.

And I cried when a friend whispered the words I’d begun to doubt: “You were a good mom.”

But the unexpected occurred when John Burdick—Sterling School’s science teacher everyone loved, whom Jenna had confided in and considered a friend—and his wife, Kathy, stood there.