Present. I had a conversation with Claire’s Uncle Mark about the several meanings of that word. The conversation took place after she died. I often think about its meanings and would like to share those thoughts with you.
Present. Gift. Claire was a present that arrived on May 31, 1991. A beautiful gift that was received by Susan and I and her brother Kelly. A wonderful gift that gave us all great joy. Her smile and her caring for others were gifts to all who met her. Her handling of her physical and mental suffering gave all who met her a gift. A gift of a smile. A gift of hope that there would be a cure. A gift of acceptance when it was realized that there wasn’t. When she knew she was going to leave this world and gain heaven, she gave us the gift of concern for others who had burdens to bear.
Present. Presence. A Divine presence was felt in our home during Claire’s last hours. There was this awesome feeling of someone there to bring Claire to her new home. I believe that all who came to visit her then, also felt their presence. Her presence has never left us. It’s here in memorabilia around the house and school. It is here in the recipients of the scholarships given in her name. It is here in the hearts of those that were especially close to her during her battle. It’s here in the community of St. Jean Vianney Catholic Parish and School.
Present. Today. That brings us to now/today, the present, May 2 will be the 19th anniversary of Claire going to her heavenly Father. How fortunate we are to be her family ……mother, father, brother, friends. Certainly, I feel loss and always will, but concerning Claire, I can only live in the present and not dwell on what could have been in the future or if things would have been different in the past. She is with me today as I write this and I am happy knowing she made an impact.
by Jimmy Goudeau, Claire's dad