Parent

I’ve been considering writing an in memoriam column and last Sunday I saw Baytown Sun columnist Wanda Orton has just done so. It appears we are both feeling the losses of the last year as we enter this one.

As I wrote previously, my childhood friend Justin died July 26. I have since discovered the song “One Day Too Late” by Skillet. The moment I heard it I broke down, overcome by waves of grief. 

On July 27, I asked my brother if he’d received his annual birthday text from Justin. He hadn’t. He texted Justin then, and I thought he’d replied. He never did, because it was one day too late. 

My uncle died after a long and courageous battle with cancer on Aug. 16, four days before his birthday. 

I watched the opening credits of the movie “The Trip to Bountiful” on YouTube and cried as I watched a mother and son run toward one another across a field, picturing a heavenly reunion as my grandmother raced to greet her son as he left this world and entered the next. 

Two of my parents’ family friends passed away in 2019 as well. Arthur Frederick died unexpectedly Nov. 13 and Gary Webb died of cancer Nov. 18.

A family friend’s brother died in his arms July 1. He later lost a friend Nov. 16. 

I suppose you could say they all fell to the earth like leaves falling from the trees.

I met my parents and our aforementioned friend at Texas Roadhouse Nov. 23. My parents had attended funerals Nov. 21 and 23 and our friend had attended a funeral Nov. 22. 

The past year claimed canine companions as well.

My sister-in-law’s dog Gunner died of cancer on Sept. 15. She was with him when he left. I believe she will see him again, for all dogs do go to heaven.

Then, as 2019 readied to depart, my in-laws’ dog Chloe died Dec. 28.

Grief is a teacher. I already knew none of us are guaranteed our next breath, but the losses of 2019 – especially Justin’s – imprinted that truth on my heart. Due to his death, I have reached out to people I had lost contact with and have done so with some success. That is my tribute to him – that through his death, other relationships have been resurrected.

I leave you to ponder these words from the Skillet song “One Day Too Late”:

Tick tock hear the clock countdown / Wish the minute hand could be rewound / So much to do and so much I need to say / Will tomorrow be too late? / Today I’m gonna try a little harder / Gonna make every minute last longer / Gonna learn to forgive and forget / Cause we don’t have long, gonna make the most of it / Reach out to somebody who needs me / Make a change, make the world a better place / Cause tomorrow could be one day too late / Tick tock hear my life pass by / I can’t erase and I can’t rewind / Of all the things I regret the most I do / Wish I’d spent more time with you.

 

I’ve been considering writing an in memoriam column and last Sunday I saw Baytown Sun columnist Wanda Orton has just done so. It appears we are both feeling the losses of the last year as we enter this one.

As I wrote previously, my childhood friend Justin died July 26. I have since discovered the song “One Day Too Late” by Skillet. The moment I heard it I broke down, overcome by waves of grief. 

On July 27, I asked my brother if he’d received his annual birthday text from Justin. He hadn’t. He texted Justin then, and I thought he’d replied. He never did, because it was one day too late. 

My uncle died after a long and courageous battle with cancer on Aug. 16, four days before his birthday. 

I watched the opening credits of the movie “The Trip to Bountiful” on YouTube and cried as I watched a mother and son run toward one another across a field, picturing a heavenly reunion as my grandmother raced to greet her son as he left this world and entered the next. 

Two of my parents’ family friends passed away in 2019 as well. Arthur Frederick died unexpectedly Nov. 13 and Gary Webb died of cancer Nov. 18.

A family friend’s brother died in his arms July 1. He later lost a friend Nov. 16. 

I suppose you could say they all fell to the earth like leaves falling from the trees.

I met my parents and our aforementioned friend at Texas Roadhouse Nov. 23. My parents had attended funerals Nov. 21 and 23 and our friend had attended a funeral Nov. 22. 

The past year claimed canine companions as well.

My sister-in-law’s dog Gunner died of cancer on Sept. 15. She was with him when he left. I believe she will see him again, for all dogs do go to heaven.

Then, as 2019 readied to depart, my in-laws’ dog Chloe died Dec. 28.

Grief is a teacher. I already knew none of us are guaranteed our next breath, but the losses of 2019 – especially Justin’s – imprinted that truth on my heart. Due to his death, I have reached out to people I had lost contact with and have done so with some success. That is my tribute to him – that through his death, other relationships have been resurrected.

I leave you to ponder these words from the Skillet song “One Day Too Late”:

Tick tock hear the clock countdown / Wish the minute hand could be rewound / So much to do and so much I need to say / Will tomorrow be too late? / Today I’m gonna try a little harder / Gonna make every minute last longer / Gonna learn to forgive and forget / Cause we don’t have long, gonna make the most of it / Reach out to somebody who needs me / Make a change, make the world a better place / Cause tomorrow could be one day too late / Tick tock hear my life pass by / I can’t erase and I can’t rewind / Of all the things I regret the most I do / Wish I’d spent more time with you.

 

Stacy Parent is a lifelong resident of Baytown.

is a lifelong resident of Baytown.

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