Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Frailty of Life

on January 5, 2012

You know, I never really thought much about it, even though I lost my dad 12 years ago. Life truly is fragile and can be exceedingly short. In the time span of the world, even a person well over 100 is still young. In a million years, 95 or 100 is only really a blink, a wink.

I have been blessed to be able to say that I have not experienced alot of tragedy, trauma or death of people close to me, either family or friends. In my younger days, there were people whom I knew in passing that, in one way or another, were claimed by death at all too early an age. And while it saddened me and reminded me of my own mortality, I didn’t feel the acute pain felt when losing someone who is close to your heart and part of your life.

Becoming a mother really has changed my perspective on the world and on life. When I see an obit of a parent, I feel terribly for the child left behind. The devastation of losing a parent is enormous. And I was an adult when I lost my father. To be a young child and tragically, and/or suddenly, lose a parent must be the worst kind of pain imaginable. To have to learn your way in the world without the guidance of your biggest supporter, your biggest fan and advocate has to be daunting. I know not all parent/child relationships are like that, but in my world they are.

I nearly lost my father when I was 13. He was in a horrific car crash that almost killed him, and when they got to the hospital, it was discovered he had a brain tumor. Being 13 is hard enough as it is, without things like that happening. My world had suddenly shifted on it’s axis and was completely upside down. One minute, everything is fine, he’s driving a babysitter home. The next, we get the dread phone call at midnight. We were very fortunate to have had him with us for nearly 20 more years. I have no idea how my life would’ve turned out without him.

Today, I’m once again slapped in the face with my own mortality. It’s a beautiful January day, the sun is shining, it’s going to be nearly 70 today. Yesterday was a bit rough, but nothing we can’t handle. And then I get the news that a good childhood friend of mine had passed away last night. She’d had surgery in December. She felt like she was progressing in her recovery process. She was upbeat earlier this week about everything. And today she’s gone. How does that happen? We are here, and then we’re not. I am incredibly sad to lose her, but I feel even worse for her daughter, who is my son’s age. That precious girl has to go through pain that no child should ever have to experience at the age of 11. Her husband will now have to raise their daughter alone. Her mother will have to do what every mother fears.

We were good friends in elementary and middle school and drifted apart as we aged, like people do. We had different interests and friends, but we reconnected online. She was a deeply religious person and had overcome her own struggles with drugs and alcohol to become an addiction counselor to help others overcome their inner demons. She was a beacon of hope and love to everyone around her and she will be missed. I hope she knew how many people she helped and how many lives she touched.

We are all angels, clothed in flesh and bone. Life, no matter whose it is, is precious and fragile. Live today like it’s your last day. Share your love and compassion with those around you, strangers included because you never know when it could be their last day.

My other challenge to myself, and to you, don’t just live for now. Live your life in such a  way that when you are gone, you will be remembered for years to come, and not just by family. Make your mark on the world. Become that beacon of hope and love for others, and do it with joy in your heart.

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