People come and go from your life all the time. On occasion someone (not your spouse, not your best friend) comes along and you just know they are special and absolutely irreplaceable.
Meet Duhart. Cornelius Duhart that is.
We meet Duhart during a terrible, awful, don’t hardly talk about it (much less think about it) time in our lives. “We” being my Mom, sister and me. Think before husbands (although my sister and I were both dating our husbands at the time we met “Du”). Well, I say that it was pre-husbands but that’s not entirely accurate. Mom was caring for Dad who was then losing his brief battle to brain cancer. That’s how we met Du. When the tumor overtook the man, I can remember telling my Mom that we needed help. We needed help caring for my Dad.
How do you even go about finding someone, a stranger no less, to come into your home at such a private, emotional and heart wrenching time? I suppose, no- I know, it was another instance of God sending the right person at the right time, even though we were too exhausted, deflated and beaten down to pray most days. In this case, He sent us an Angel in form of Du. Words cannot express how much this man means to us- he was with our family during though unbelievably hard times yet also the most precious and intimate last moments with my Dad. He became our family when our family was falling apart. There are stories that are almost too personal (and painful) to share on a blog.
He took such great care of my Dad- bathing him and dressing him in his pressed khakis, collared shirts and Docksiders each day. Mind you, no one left the house. That’s what made the small gestures all the more meaningful. He was able to keep Dad’s dignity intact which was no easy feat. The best way I can think to describe the comradery with this man would be how a combat soldier might feel about his buddies: we faced the war together and nobody could ever really understand unless they were there with the us. We have a bond. Duhart is part of the thread that created this patch-work quilt life of mine.
It’s been over 10 years since I’ve seen Du- he hadn’t meet any of my children and probably still remembered me as a trying-to-stay-strong-for-her-Mom 20 year old. Well, all that changed when we got to see him again this weekend. It was like showing up to a dinner only to realize it was a homecoming that you didn’t know you were missing. I had almost forgotten how we came to love and depend on him to help us through that sorrowful time. We were surrounded by dear friends, lots of precious family, a great support system but the only person that we wanted, that made us feel safe and gave us rest at night, was Duhart. I had forgotten. I had forgotten how the four of us- Mom, Sara, Du and me- would sit in the upstairs living room and talk and talk for hours. It was our cocoon. I think my subconscious had tucked it all away but I am thankful for the resurfaced memories and reminder.
Wow. Life has a funny way of showing up sometimes. We love you Du.