Today we honor the life and legacy of Amy SoHee Henderson-Llanto; and, we do so, with her family. Today, it's through her own mother's words we sit, reflect, and remember:
“Mom, have you had your coffee yet?"
I miss hearing this question but I still hear it in my head. Whenever Amy wanted to tell or ask me something, she always started with this question. She knew that I would most likely say yes to whatever it was if I had had my coffee first.
Amy and I shared a love of the beach and especially tide pooling at low tide.
It was a guarantee that we would go every extreme low tide morning, it was just a question how early we would make it to the beach after we stopped for coffee. We looked for critters, beach glass and heart rocks. Today I got to go tide pooling again and right away I found a heart rock.
Amy spent 52 days in Virginia Mason undergoing treatment for a rare cancer. We spent that time in Seattle also. Every day I went into her hospital room hoping to catch the doctors or see Amy before she went to her morning round of radiation. After we shared a few words, she would ask, “Mom, have you had your coffee yet?” I guess she could sense the mood. I would then walk to Top Pot Donuts and order the same 8 ounce mocha with 3 shots and half the chocolate.
The morning that Amy passed away was no different. Amy had been unconscious since the night before. There were no more words spoken after her special wedding.
She was struggling to breathe but she would not give up. We had all been napping and watching in her room after sharing our stories and songs with her. In the morning someone asked for coffee so Rylan and I decided to go to Top Pot Donuts to get coffee and donuts to share. As soon as we got back to the room and shared the coffee and donuts, we noticed Amy was no longer breathing. It was as though she waited for that moment. I can hear her ask, “Mom, have you had your coffee yet?”
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted: The timing of Amy's death wasn't a coincidence but a continuation of the story of how she had lived. A final act of comfort and love only she could give.