The shopping trip was a lot of fun. I arrived back this afternoon. I got to bond with Holly and buy a cart full of groceries that didn’t break the bank. She and I laughed a lot, and it was a nice break. I ended up staying an extra day because she was pretty sick yesterday morning and I really didn’t have anything pressing at work. So, I played bed nurse until she felt better and then we drove over to Dusty’s sister’s apartment to pick him up and we went to eat a late lunch.
Then we got the news.
Our village suffered another loss.
A beautiful, young, mother passed away quietly yesterday surrounded by her family. Athena was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October. She was pregnant with her second child. She held on just long enough to bring her baby into the world via C-section on Tuesday night. She was 27.
Athena grew up in my village but no longer lived here. Her family remained here and started a thriving business. Athena would fly in to help the family with the business and I had the privilege of interacting with her many times during her visits. I didn’t know her well but well enough to know she was a fun person.
Her family plans to bury her here in the village. It will be sad. She was too young to die and it seems unfair.
She was also a very good friend to Dusty.
I think what hurts the most is seeing someone I love hurting so much. He loved Athena very much and although we all knew what the end result would be in this tragic story, one is never quite prepared for the finality of it all. Of course, Dusty being Dusty, he’s being stoic and trying to help the family, as always, putting everyone before himself. I suppose it helps him cope. He knows I’m here when he’s ready to face it. I just hate knowing there’s nothing I can do to take the pain away.
So, on the 2nd anniversary of Richard’s death, just a little over a year since Val’s death, here we sit mourning another passing.
When someone dies in a tight knit community such as this one, everyone feels it in some way or another. Whether you knew that person well or not. And like it or not, people in isolated villages such as ours, always feel like family. When someone dies, we all feel it. We’re all affected.
On the bright side, Athena’s new daughter is doing very well, in spite of being born 2 months premature and weighing only 2lbs 7ozs. Kalena Athena is breathing on her own, miraculously enough. I firmly believe Athena is watching over her tiny namesake that brought light in a time of darkness.
So, keep Athena’s family in your prayers, hug your loved ones tight on this special day, and thank whatever deity you believe in for your good health, and for giving you another breath of life.