I thought about blog topics a lot today. I kept debating about what I should write about... I felt like there was some deep stuff to share but at the same time... maybe it's better to stick to something fluffier.
Real life is scary right now.
First I have to say that I admire the women who are stepping up and taking the lead on being connected to Amanda. Kristina, Cindi, and Megan are keeping our mom community informed and keeping us connected to Amanda and her needs as she faces the second hardest day of her life this Friday when she has to bury her little boy.
Amanda is someone I've only met once before, I think. We agree on a lot of topics online and that may be where any bond we have to one another lies- we've known each other online for several years. Amanda isn't a "friend" of mine but she is part of the group of moms that I care about deeply.
When someone connected to us experiences a tragedy, it impacts us in a personal way. There is, of course, our concern and caring and compassion for that person, that family, that circumstance.
But there is another side. Our own individual human reaction to hearing of the tragedy someone else experiences means coming close to the fears we carry with us all the time.
I remember when I first felt this new level of intense fear that I'd never known before- even in all the hard times I'd survived in my life. We were in the hospital, Teagan was just a day or two old. We were faced with bringing her home and I realized I wouldn't have a nurses' call button at home. I wouldn't have immediate help and answers and experienced hands to step in and help. And when I felt that helplessness, I suddenly dipped my toe into this ocean of fear that I had never known before.
Every single horrible thing that could possibly happen to my child in her entire life lives in that ocean.
And when tragedy happens to someone else, I'm reminded of that ocean of fear that can bubble so close to the surface.
It's so hard to remember that life continues to roll on when someone else's life is suspended in this terrible cloud of tragedy. I scroll through status updates on Facebook and am reminded to count my blessings because someone else tragedy reminds me of how many blessings I have in my life and that I can overlook the little things that annoy or concern or even anger me.
My friend Ashli's husband, Jeremy, gave the sermon at church this past Sunday. One thing he said that stayed with me was along the lines of- "When I allowed myself to let go of anger, I found peace."
At home, Zach is fighting a bug - Amanda's son died from a virus. Every cough, every snore, every mumble and moan has me on edge. Zach has come to our bed every night this week. While he hogs the bed, pillows, and blankets leaving Jeff and I shivering on the edges of the mattress... I don't mind one little bit and find great comfort in having him close by. I've even thought of sleeping on the floor in their bedroom just to stay close to both of them.
At work, I'm having a hard time with my priorities. My heart is with my kids and my husband. My mind is focused on those who are hurting from this loss. I don't have the focus available to match what the people above me find to be so important. How can I worry about safety glasses when someone I've been connected to for years is about to bury her son, is fearing that her other baby has the same virus that took his life, and is trying to help her oldest child feel special as she celebrates a birthday?
What Amanda is going through reminds me of the pain of loss that so many others have gone through- Hallie, Lynn, Angie, Satch, Tim and even me.
It's easy to get pulled down into the darkness, the anger, the fear, the sadness.
So I pray. And I sing. And I seek support from others and I offer support to others. I sing to my kids, I hug them tighter, I find kind words for others, I love my husband. I thank God for what I have in this moment, at this time, right now.
Because truly- it is all that any of us have.