Painful Friday

It’s been a bad weekend. For me, for my best friend, for my son’s school and for thousands of people in Connecticut.

My heart is broken, utterly and literally into tiny fragmented pieces. When you become a parent, you open up your heart to a new and excruciating form of pain. Parenting becomes a source of joy and a source of sorrow. A needle prick in your child’s finger is like a stab to the heart. Your mother’s ailing health send’s you into a spiralling attack of panic.

And this weekend all these boundaries were tested. Ailing children, dying children and dying parents. Friday was a day for the books.

Remember this post? I got an email from the school that they were sending home an important letter today. As I read the email, my heart dropped. I pretty much knew what they were going to say and I braced my self. Still, when I opened the letter to read about the poor third grade boy who had finally succumbed to brain cancer and died peacefully with his family back home, my heart cried out in anguish for all the pain and what-if’s his parents would be living through. When we told Adam what had happened that night, he blanked out at the word ‘died’. I mean, why should a kid his age die? Obviously, next came the inevitable question of why little kids die.

And that is the question that must have passed through all our minds after what happened to the kids in Connecticut. You kiss your 6 year old in the morning and send him off to school. You then pick him up in the afternoon in a body bag, with his frail and cuddly frame full of numerous bullets. There is no sense or reason to what happened. And whether you have kids or not, you’re still shattered by the cruelty in this world. Oh, how life is fleeting. You wake up in the morning thinking you have all the time in the world for soccer practices and piano lessons and hand-wringing teenage date nights. Then everything is abruptly snatched in a blink of an eye, or the shot of a gun.

So you hold onto those moments.

Which my best friend is trying hard to do, as she recently found out that her beautiful, strong mother’s cancer – which was severe and critical to begin with – has taken a turn for the worst, much, much worst. I was there when she first found out her mother had cancer almost three years ago. Ironically at the funeral of another friend’s mother. I saw the devastation and shock in her eyes and I watched the endless ups and downs throughout the years as prognosis reports came through and chemotherapy took a toll on the family. One month after the initial discovery, she was told that it was inoperable and incurable. Given a 6 months to a year, she surpassed all expectations. She got time to see her youngest get married, her new grandson light up her world and her eldest succeed in business. But it wasn’t without it’s sacrifices. What my best friend, her mother and the family have gone through could bring down any family but they soldered on. And while I may fervently wish that I was physically beside them at this trying time, my heart and soul lies back home where it is still connected to her and everyone else.

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