Easter 2000. Oscar was in the first stages of his fight against the cancer that would take his life 10 months later at the age of 24. Patricia and her two sons were visiting, Daniel was 10 and Michael was almost 8. Dianna was at home still, 20 years old.
Friends invited the family to go to Easter services at a large Baptist church in Bristol and all of them but Ann went. They rode in the Villager van, and the six of them really enjoyed the service. Oscar had some discomfort, his leg was bothering him. The cancer was causing extreme pain and he limped noticeably. There was a soft tissue tumor in his left hip about the size of a softball.
Roger is a very consistent person, one of regular habit. He always assures he has the vehicle keys before locking the doors. Except for this day.
When church services were over they mingled with fellow worshipers for a while then headed to the van. That was when they realized the keys were in the van, and the spare set was in Abingdon. The family friend went to retrieve the keys from Ann in Abingdon.
The weather was beautiful. A picture perfect Spring Sunday. Warm, sunny, blue skies, trees leafing out and flowers in bloom. There was a play area adjacent to the parking lot with playground equipment, swings, seesaws, a merry-go-round. The two children of the friends, Michael, Daniel, Dianna and Oscar made their way over to play on this beautiful Spring afternoon. Oscar was limping, obviously in pain, but for those moments he was fully engaged in the joy and laughter of childhood once more. Playing on the merry-go-round, pushing the younger ones on the swings. Playing, laughing, the joyful happy soul he had always been fully present in the moment.
Patricia was always prepared as most mothers are and had water and snacks with her. They had an impromptu picnic in the park, and it was a day for precious memories to be stored. It ended up being over an hour before they were able to get into the van and head home for the Easter feast awaiting them.
What some may have seen as a coincidence, an irritation, an inconvenience Roger sees as divine intervention. Because of the one time in his memory that he locked the keys in his vehicle and did not have a spare in his wallet, he has in his memory this incredible time Oscar, the nephew he helped raise, being able to really laugh and play one last time.