By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Emerging from my cold morning shower ...
I hear the muffled voice of my husband directly below.
He's on the phone and, based on his tone, I know something's wrong.
I tiptoe downstairs in an effort to not interrupt a flow of serious conversation.
We've just learned Scot's sister Dawn unexpectedly passed away.
My husband Scot hails from a large family; the youngest of twelve surviving siblings.
Dawn was sandwiched somewhere in the middle, thirteen years his senior,
67 years old.
The number looks so young ... sounds so young.
Heaven at sixty-seven; Dawn's relationship with the Lord was secure.
Memories of Dawn in the early years were of the gentle and tender kind:
+Dawn was the sister who actually took time for the little "toddler" brother.
+Dawn was the sister who pushed Scot on the swing and would let him sleep next to her.
+Dawn was the unusual and caring adolescent sister who made a child's life sweet.
Dawn was quiet, kind, and considerate.
Well liked. Responsible. Dependable.
Then Dawn grew up, married a husband with the same name as hers, but spelled differently, and Dawn and Don became one.
They raised two beautiful children and enjoyed grandchildren.
They lived in a suburb of Saint Paul where she worked in the hospital performing administrative tasks.
Tragedy struck when husband Don was diagnosed with lung cancer some years ago.
Treatment, followed treatment, followed treatment.
Caregiving tasks were intensified and multiplied.
Dawn became more and more the stabilizing and structured force in the family,
the needed and needful individual responsible for the well-being of Don.
Receiving a phone call regarding Don's death seemed a real possibility.
But not Dawn.
Brothers Joe and Scot will share the tragic news with their 98 year old mother Stell this morning ... and life and lives will be changed this day.
Life is strange and we never know,
how much time we have,
or when our last "good-bye" on earth will be.
Be gentle with others and yourself.
Live life in a beautiful way ...
Heaven is just a heartbeat away.