By Dawn Onley
Tomorrow, my friend will bury her husband.
They had long been one of my favorite couples, for many reasons — the way he looked at her and the way she looked out for him; how they did everything together, from family gatherings to yearly vacations; how they went to church together every week; how they cheered on their Redskins and represented everything D.C.
Their happiness and zeal for life couldn’t be contained. Their smiles could illuminate the darkness that anyone, anywhere felt, and they did just that when their own journey grew bleak. They kept smiling, lighting their path. They never stopped believing. They were one of those couples that seemed like they had always been together. They just fit. They were solid.
They were fated to be husband and wife even before they met. They had a timeless love story. He died, but their love will never end.
Everett was one of those cats that knew how to treat a lady. That is something you could just vibe from first meeting him. He was old school. He had a quiet sophistication and swag that could easily conjure up a 60s Motown great like Sam Cooke or Otis Redding, except that Everett belonged in a group. He sung on the men’s choir at The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square. He would have been a Temptation.
I admired how he made my girl, Angie, feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. I mean, she is, so he was not pretending. But still.
I’ve been filled with a dread ever since Everett’s illness and a sadness ever since his passing because he had a whole lot of life left. He and Angie had a whole lot of love left. They had trips that they were planning. They had a business they were building. They were finishing up a home renovation. He had a daughter and a grandbaby that he absolutely adored. He had much more to give and they had a lot left to receive.
Life is too much sometimes. Too heavy. Too burdensome. Too hard. So unfair.
As I sat with Angie this past Sunday, I thought about her strength and how incredibly courageous she has been throughout this whole ordeal. She meant every last word of those wedding vows – in sickness and in health. Everett couldn’t help but adore her (and she him).
I thought about all that she was teaching me in this very moment about faith and about being at peace with things we don’t understand. I thought about the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Death cannot be changed, but it is not final. Everett will not walk this Earth again, but he will forever live — in Angie’s heart and in her smile. In Heaven. With Angie, that is where he’s always lived.