My stepfather apologized both to his niece and to me today at my mother's funeral. This is a miracle, plain and simple.
Thank you, all, for your prayers -- I believe they got us through what has been a very, very difficult situation. My stepfather found my mother's Bible by her chair yesterday and began to read it. He told us that he found her handwritten margin notes interesting. He is, at this time, still an unbeliever. But we're planning to pray him into the Kingdom.
The funeral is over, my mother's body has been buried, and Tim and I will be on our way home tomorrow morning (driving -- and I'm so glad he's with me!). I've got a car full of heirloom china, a boatload of church music, and, residing on my right hand ring finger, my great-grandmother's cherished wedding band.
I may never see this town again, but I will, for sure, see my mother again when we are all at the feast.
PS: I'll be back with the "Random Dozen" meme next Wednesday -- I just couldn't get to it today.