Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Frailty of Life

on January 6, 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. And don’t get so wrapped up in your own life that you forget, or neglect, to tell those in your life how you feel, we never know what’s waiting for us outside the front door. Don’t just assume they know how you feel, say it. Tell them now, don’t wait. Wouldn’t you want them to know now, rather than waiting until it’s too late and they can’t hear you? Send someone flowers today. Wouldn’t you rather them be able to truly enjoy them now, while they’re here with us? Don’t wait. If there’s someone you’ve been wanting to share your feelings with, but have been hesitant or afraid, don’t delay, take the chance.

2 responses to “Frailty of Life

  1. Sherri says:

    When I finally realized I wasn’t going to be able to attend Shelle’s Life Celebration I was really pissed. The rest of the day I was really not “at work” mentally b/c my mind was on the bizarre notion that I really needed to be at my friend and collegue’s funeral. What th…? I spent much of the day reflecting on mine and Shelle’s relationship and reflected on some of the personal losses I’ve had in my life. My dad, my grandma…my Yella Dog…I remembered how awful those initial days are afterward…the hole left, the lack of concentration, and just the overall feeling of numbness…without really knowing you’re numb…cause you’re numb. ???? 🙂 I recently went through the horrible ordeal of helping my mom have to put her puppy companion to sleep after a 15 year buddy-ship. She’s been widowed for 30 plus years and I can’t remember when I’ve seen one person so sad. I ached for her. Losing someone that you’ve known and have been close to is such a surreal feeling it’s hard to describe. that initial shock is like getting the wind knocked out of you…with the emphasis on the total lack of breath going in or out. For me the only option is to do what you mentioned Cheryl…make every minute, hour, day count. Those we love and care about need to hear it from us. Facebook has allowed me to connect with those of you I haven’t seen in forever, to reconnect, to share that you mean something to me. We may not be close close…but you mean something to me. All who have touched my life in school and otherwise…mean something to me. You’ve helped me create memories, without which my life would be less than. So thank you for that. Life is short, much too short. I thank God everyday that I have such wonderful people in my life…family, friends, fb friends, old friends, new friends, co-workers, clients, and even passing homeless people I encounter daily who give me a smile when they might not feel much like smiling…I am more aware everyday of how precious life is. It’s such a blessing to have had a relationship with Shelle in our childhood, college, our chosen careers, and here on facebook too. I’ll miss the silly, raggin’ texts back and forth during a serious conference, making faces at each other trying to get the other to laugh out loud so everyone would turn and look at one of us…Shelle couldn’t keep a very straight face! 😀 She’d always bust up! 😀 I remember in HS losing a bet (don’t remember what) but the loser…me…had to let Shelle put a TON of “ho” makeup on me, drive to Sonic, here in Sapulpa, on Friday night and order something obsurd and pay for it in all pennies. hahahaha very funny Beeeeotch! hahaha! Good times….not to mention the time we went baby-oiling doors and windows. HAHA! Bad girls…! Anyway…I’m gonna miss that crazy chick. Love to her. S~

  2. We were not really friends in high school, but I”m so glad we were able to reconnect on facebook. She really became a very inspirational person. Even though I may not be as religious as she was, i did enjoy reading her posts, they were always so uplifting and positive. You could just feel the love coming from the computer screen. Her daughter looks so much like her, it’s incredible. Such poise and grace in a young girl.

    with you profession, you have an opportunity like she did, to touch many lives in a positive way. I am glad we’ve all been able to keep up with each other online. I think all of our lives are richer because of it.

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