Of Sunflowers and Smiles

There is always a silence that comes before the tears
The memories
The cherished recollection of the departed…

When I heard the news she was gone
It was a shock
She had taken care of my boys since they were babies
She had become part of our family
I didn’t know what to say or think

In the times of COVID
Many lives were taken
Many risked their own health to take care of others
To take care of their own
And that’s what Yvonne did
She took care of her husband, her children
Only to succumb to the virus herself

I had never seen so many people gathered
Old friends
Families of the children she helped raise
And the babies she once took care of were now young adults
Mourning the loss of someone who gave them love and care

Our hearts went out to her husband and her children
Especially to her youngest girls who looked just like her
Their mother was taken too soon

Standing in line
Saying goodbye
My boys and all the kids whom she babysat
Lay sunflowers on her coffin

There was a silence
Right before the casket was lowered
Followed by soft tears echoing in the air
Young girls weeping
Remembering childhood
As my boys stood quiet
My heart ached for them

She was great person

We had a two-hour drive back
All of us were silent in the car

It was while I was driving
That I remembered
Yvonne and her husband stopped by the night before we moved away
They prayed for us
She cried and embraced my boys
She cried when we unexpectedly stopped by a few years later
Seeing my boys grown up
And though we kept in contact
There was a guilt in my heart that we should have tried harder

It was while I was driving
In the total silence
And soft sniffles
Memories of smiles felt imprinted forever
When I too quietly wept
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