Toward the end of "Hey God? Yes, Charles." is a page of acknowledgments. In those acknowledgments is the name Bettye Morris. She's the dear friend who encouraged me a few days after Charles's service by bringing pen and paper and saying, "Write. It helped me after Chester died. Maybe it will help you."
In a lot of ways, Bettye modeled for me how to be a widow. She had a 15 year head start. I watched her because she had experience but I tried to emulate her because I admired her. She didn't accept the loss of her husband any easier than I did. But neither did she curl up in a ball in the corner somewhere and feel sorry for herself forever.
Bettye died this week. Tomorrow I will do my best to participate in the celebration of her wonderful life and find joy in her hereafter. But for today, I'm going to give myself permission to grieve.
There are some debts you just wish you had a little more time to repay.