Celebrating a life

It was a journey I wished we didn’t have to make. I accompanied Teresa Dorsey on the first leg of her long journey home on her way to face the unthinkable. Her beloved mother, Cynthia Early Dorsey, had died. Teresa was on the other side of the world.

The first leg of the trip was the eight-hour drive to the Entebbe airport from Lira, a small town in northern Uganda. Even finding a car to rent there involved much behind-the-scenes maneuvering by our wonderful guide Herbert.

While Herbert weaved his way through the traffic of Uganda — roads in disrepair, drivers not really following any rules involving lanes or passing or speeding — Teresa and I talked. Mostly we talked about her mother. It was a lovely, sometimes tear-drenched, sometimes laughter-laden conversation over the miles.

It made me wish I had known Cynthia Early Dorsey. Cynthia was a wonderful mother, encouraging her children to follow their dreams. She loved to travel the world herself  with far-flung adventures from a stint in the Peace Corps in Côte d’Ivoire, time spent working in Japan and an around-the-world honeymoon.

Cynthia loved to cook savory foods, but she didn’t like the precision of baking as much. Her Italian roots showed in the pasta made for holidays.

She was a woman who valued family over everything.

I loved hearing the stories of moments in Teresa’s life. We laughed and we cried.

I talked a little about losing my mom and offered what advice I could: It sucks. It will suck for a long time. It’s a big black hole that will never be completely filled. It hurts more than anything you can imagine. I wish I could have made it hurt less.

After our drive, Herbert and I sent Teresa off on the Brussels-bound plane on the next leg of her long, sad journey home. We tried to send her wrapped in love and prayers and good thoughts.

We have kept Teresa in our thoughts and prayers.  We especially thought of her as we made the journey home.

Carol Zuegner

About Carol Zuegner

I am a journalism professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. I teach writing, social media, media entrepreneurship, international mass communication and I am lucky enough to be a part of Backpack Journalism. I focus on interviewing, writing and being Mama Zoogs.

5 thoughts on “Celebrating a life

  1. Hi Carol,

    What a powerful example of the working of the Lord. God put you in the right place to help and comfort Teresa at this very difficult time in her life journey. Such an amazing example of God’s grace. I am Heidi Hoffman’s grandmother, Marilyn. Grandpa Mickey and I held you and Teresa in our prayers and thoughts. Thanks for sharing this with us….Blessings to you….. Marilyn

  2. Thank you for your immense love and support the entire time. I was glad to share stories of my amazing mother with you.

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