Thursday, April 3, 2014

Two Stories

One of the things I love about Facebook is that I'm "friends" with a pile of women I went to high school with.  They aren't people I talk to in "real life," but it's been nice to reconnect virtually, to see where they are and what they are up to.  I went to high school in a rural area, where some girls were married and already had kids by the time graduation rolled around, so it was to my great surprise that I discovered a large number of women had very young children, the same ages of my children.  I often feel like such a late bloomer, but it turns out that many of us were.

I was heartbroken to see a few weeks ago that one woman had lost her 5 year old daughter to a virus.    One day she was there, and the next she was not--it happened ridiculously fast.  I can't even imagine what she is going through.  She's been posting gorgeous pictures of herself and her daughter, in happier times.  I haven't seen this woman since we were 17, 18 years old, haven't kept in touch with her.  We're in our 40's now.  Seeing these pictures of her, as an adult, makes me feel in some way like I'm looking at her mother.  She's the girl I knew, but so much older.  In my head, she's still the giggly cheerleader who drinks too much and fools around with boys she shouldn't.  She is carefree.  On my screen, she is middle-aged, heavy with responsibility, and she is so very sad.  I think often about the girl she was back then, with not a care in the world.   That girl couldn't have imagined this was where life would take her.  And that little girl in the photos--a mighty sprite, full of laughter and energy. . .it's so hard to imagine that she's been ripped from her mother, her family.  My heart just breaks.  I wrap my arms tightly around Miss M when I think of this poor woman, and don't even want to think of such a possibility.

Then this week, another awful story.  An acquaintance here had a c-section to deliver her first child.  The baby is healthy and home.  The mother, however, developed a coagulation problem during the surgery.  She's in critical condition, and they are having trouble getting things problem under control.  This is supposed to be a happy time for this new family, and instead she's in the hospital fighting for her life.  I so very much hope for them that this story has a happy ending, that a scary beginning is quickly left behind in a pile of dirty diapers and teething and cheerful morning feedings.

Life feels so fragile to me right now.  Everything you wish for and hope for and wait for can come, only to disappear again in an instant.  It's such a reminder to hold tight and love while you can.

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