From: Mary Zimmerman
The date of the title will be forever engraved into my heart: the day God took our 16-year-old son, Duane, into another world. The last article I submitted to the Post was entitled “Trouble Hearts” and I could spend the whole of this article telling you what a troubled heart I and our whole family experienced for such a long time after Duane was gone. I couldn’t seem to concentrate on the six other wonderful children that needed my time and attention. I just couldn’t get a hold of life; eventually, I shared my grief with others through writing a couple books. These books came from my troubled heart and into the troubled hearts of so many other parents from many states. With the thought I was helping others, I began to heal. The pain never fully does go away but today, as I write this, my wound has somewhat healed. I’m sorry for what our children suffered through; despite it all, I have come to look upon God as my best friend. I know He walked alongside me as I walked the road of depression (many times), losing so many children.
I put a picture of Duane on our kitchen counter this morning and it looked like he was smiling at me, just as in life. It brought to mind a letter he wrote a friend (she gave it to me). Duane signed it, “Remember to smile; it’s a part of God.” It is my real hope that when he met God for judgment, the good outweighed the bad. Duane once rode his bicycle to Winona to buy a potted flower to give to a neighbor lady on her 80th birthday. He also, with the help of a friend, put crosses up on our hill where we lived and made jewelry (some with crosses). Lynette treasures one such piece.
Just before we left for South Dakota to visit my parents (Duane chose not to go, as we had to work) I went to Duane’s room in the basement and kissed him goodbye. As we were driving away, we notice Duane standing in the doorway waving to us. The next morning, we got the call, informing us of the accident that took his life. His car collided with a truck and we headed back to Minnesota with troubled hearts. If tears could bring my son back he’d have been home a long time ago. I’m quite sure Sarah Squires would say that, as well, after losing her dear husband in a car accident, too.
I still have masses said for Duane; if he’s not in need I’m sure he passes them on to others. I’ve heard you can do that.
If your heart is broken from the loss of a loved one, feel free to contact me. I once wrote an article, “Comfort for those who mourn.” Or, if you’d just like to tell me you remember Duane, I’d love to hear from you. He and his uncle Jim have a birthday coming up on August 20, so please send up a prayer for them.
Auf wiedershen — until we meet again.