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Words are the only things which last forever.   Winston Churchill

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Last Sunday, my son and I landed in London at 6 a.m.  While dragging my bags to the underground tube station, I turned on my phone to a stream of vague “call me immediately” messages.  When I finally emerged from the subway and found cell service, I got the news:  one of my oldest and dearest friends had died.  Chris was a seemingly healthy 48 yr old.  I’d just seen him, just had dinner with him.  How was this possible?  I went back to read our last exchange of text messages, as if some clue could be found there.  These were his last words to me:  Safe travels!  I hate that you’re so far away!  I am SO BLESSED to have such great friends.  Love you friend!

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It was too early to check into our hotel, so we left our bags with the bellman and headed out for a walk.  It was cold and blowing a gale and raining in London.  We found refuge in the bunker underneath the Treasury.  Winston Churchill’s War Rooms.  I saw a plaque that read:  Words are the only things which last forever.

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Later that evening, I received a message from my cousin about Aunt Mary, my mom’s closest sister.  Aunt Mary has been very ill.  The message said:  Mom’s gone.  I remembered what Aunt Mary said 2 weeks ago, the last time I saw her:  It’s always such a pleasure to see you, Teri Lynn.  Come back and see me soon, okay?

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That's Chris in the black shirt, laughing.  1979.  He's sitting across from me at our 8th grade graduation breakfast.
That’s Chris in the black shirt, laughing. 1979. He’s sitting across from me at our 8th grade graduation breakfast.
That's my mom with big sister, Mary.  1948.  They are both gone now.
That’s my mom with big sister, Mary. 1948. They are both gone now.
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