This is a hard day, and the irony of Facebook sends a chill up my spine. This morning, I heard the news that a friend from high school lost his daughter in a car accident two days ago. M. and I have not been close friends for years; we weren’t close friends in high school. I didn’t know his daughter. But M is an amazing person who just lost his child. He and I grew up in a very small, unique place, and this past fall when we all reunited, and hung out again, spending time with M. was a highlight. He’s an incredibly funny guy–– he was in high school, and he is still. M.’s also thoughtful, kind and loves his family. I know that, because we talked about our kids and spouses during a long, meaningful conversation that evening. The conversation and connection took me by surprise, but was one of the most lovely moments that weekend. We caught up on 35 years; it’s what you do at reunions–– but M.’s warmth and sweet character made that conversation extra special.
We talked about other things, but that is what haunts me today. M. loves his family, and two days ago it was shattered. Anyone who has known him, can’t imagine M. without a smile… until now. I imagine he’s feeling broken right now, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that. This kind of loss is just as inconceivable and terrifying, as it was when I first wrote this pot. All day, the reality of it interrupted my other thoughts. All day, a piece of my heart was grieving… for M, for his family, for the the way the world just shifted, for his beautiful 19 year-old daughter that is gone, and for all the reasons I wrote this piece… exactly four years ago.
A lot’s happened since I wrote this post. All three of my kids have gone off to college, two have graduated, and one has her own baby now. That little boy is the light of my life, and now his fingers and toes, are as precious as those I’ve loved forever. I can no longer slip in and make sure my own babies are sleeping soundly. Most days, I don’t know what they’re doing, at any given moment. Two months ago, a friend lost her 27 year-old son, a boy who had graduated with my daughter. I was struck immobilized, unable to reach out and tell her how sorry I was–– shocked by the proximity of that tragedy. And today, I am shaken again.
A lot has changed in four years. But what hasn’t changed is that when I hear news like this, and I’m reminded that the boogey man is still out there, nothing has changed at all. It’s 12:30am and I can’t sleep. My head is full of the horrific news that a dear man, has lost his child. Facebook has an uncanny way of pointing out that life is not fair, and while it goes on, some days there is nothing you can do but count your blessings and hold someone else in your heart.
Last night I couldn’t sleep. That’s not totally unusual. I’m a woman of a certain age— there are many things that keep me awake these days. However, last night it was the most horrible of thoughts, the darkest of the dark. Yesterday I read in our local paper that a vibrant young girl, who graduated from the high school that my kids have attended, was killed in a scooter accident overseas, over spring break this week. I knew the girl. Not well, but I knew her face, remembered her personality. She was a baby, just having started college— so much life ahead of her. She was doing something joyful and fun, with her sister and friends. She was having an adventure… All I could think, as I lay in bed last night, the dark pushing in around me, was…
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