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I'll see you again someday
She stood, not really taking it in. The coffin, the people crying.
“Shelby?” The voice was familiar, but Shelby couldn’t remember who it was. She felt a hand on her shoulder and she turned to see a girl with dirty blonde hair and rosy cheeks. Kindness and sympathy showed in the light blue eyes. A name rose to Shelby’s lips. “Hannah? What are you doing here?” Hannah’s eyes filled with confusion. “What do you mean? You asked me to come.”
“Oh, I guess I did.” Shelby turned away and focused on the coffin. The preacher’s voice sounded in her ears.
“We thank God for the seventeen years that He gave us and we know that Ryan is with the Lord. His time on earth was short, but we will see him in Heaven some day.”
We will see him in Heaven someday. The preacher had said that Ryan was with the Lord. Shelby felt tears welling up in her eyes for the first time since she had heard the news. Ryan. Her brother. The only person she had left.
She could still see him the day he died. He’d waved at her as the car drove away. It was nothing unusual. Ryan was going to a movie with some friends. He’d promised to take her fishing the next day. Two hours later he called to say that the movie had been great and he on his way home.
But he never came home. Three miles away from the movie theater a drunk driver ran a red light and plowed into Ryan’s truck. The call came just as Aunt Cathy was starting to worry. Shelby heard the words “killed instantly” and she knew. She didn’t remember much after that.
Now the sun was high in the sky, contradictory to the brokenness inside Shelby’s heart. She could see her parent’s gravestones, side by side. Now they would be joined by their son.
As the coffin was lowered into the ground, memories flashed through Shelby’s mind. Ryan laughing as he squirted her with a water gun; Ryan falling backwards into the fishing pond; Ryan daring her to climb the tree in the front yard, then diving to catch her when she toppled out. The tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks.
In her mind she asked, “God, why did he have to leave? Why couldn’t You let him stay?”
A few last words were spoken, flowers dropped on the coffin. The group of mourners slowly made their way down the hill, back to the church. Shelby felt an arm around her shoulder. It was Hannah.
“It’s okay.” Hannah whispered, “You’re allowed to cry.” Before Ryan’s grave was completely out of sight Shelby turned back and said, “Goodbye Ryan. I’ll see you in Heaven someday.”