be glad

by humanmama on December 12, 2011

Someone died today.

I mean, I assume. There are 7 billion people in this world, and people are dying all the time. It’s true: I’m not trying to depress you. Definitely, someone died today.

I’m sorry if one of these people were close to you. How sad. How devastating.

It’s so amazing how [tiny], how infinitesimal this little speck of life we own is. How fragile. We use the world fragile a lot here, like when the girls are super cranky and every little thing bothers them, or are overtired or sick. I encourage them not to freak out, but to say “Mom, can you be a little gentle with me? I’m feeling a little fragile right now.” Believe it or not, they do use that phrase, even my 2-year old. And it’s so true. We are fragile. Life is so fragile.

We like to believe we’re so tough. I hearken back to a commercial that runs now, I forget if it’s for Lipitor or diabetes meds or whatever (definitely pharmaceutical), but a guy goes to the woods, or points off a high cliff, and remembers jumping off there as a kid, “I took a lot of risks as a kid that I wouldn’t take now,” he says. Funny, it’s never a woman, maybe one day it’ll be me, pointing to the top of a 10-story building that I went bungee jumping off of when I was 14 and saying “Heh, I took a lot of risks back then.” But the point is: as we age, we realize how fragile life is. And also even when we do try, we can’t always protect it.

I met a woman this weekend who has 2 sons. She had three, but one died of leukemia. In 6 months. He was 7 and healthy, and then he was 7 and sick, and then he wasn’t anymore. In 6 months. And I was meeting her as a mom with two kids, but she really was a mom of three kids. And she’ll always be a mom of three kids. And her heart will always ache on his birthday, and Christmas, and on the day he should have graduated from high school. We are shaped by these events, amazingly, shaped by other people. Even if you think you’re an island: you’re not. Your life is etched, molded, by the people around you. And if you have kids, no one holds the chisel to the clay of your life like they do.

It’s amazing. It’s fragile. And it’s life. Take care of you and yours, because we never know how long this will last. Be your happiest. Be your best you. There’s always time to fix something bad, don’t let it build up until it’s too late. Enjoy the tiny bit of time we have on this earth. It’s fleeting. And that’s not meant to depress:

it’s meant to inspire.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly December 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Very true. Life goes by in a blink, and for some it’s shorter than others. I feel so bad for the woman you described, there can be no greater pain or emptiness in the world than missing a child not here anymore.


Cassie December 13, 2011 at 2:20 am

such truth and inspiration. being a mama is a big job, living intentionally and fully is a big job as well. Thanks for the reminder to not take the days for granted.



Mary McDonald December 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

You are so right about this. When my only sibling was 17 1/2 he was diagnosed with inoperable cancerous tumor around his heart. He died at 18, having fought an amazing battle and subjected himself to all the craziness of senior year including applying to colleges he would never attend. Anyway, that was a long time ago and my mom died last week at 85. If you asked her how many children she had at any point in her life she would say 2 and then tell you in a happy pleasant manner about her son who had died, even if you were on line at the grocery or in the dentist waiting room. But after a while, the way she did it was so amazing that the listener felt they had been given a gift, not a depressing burden. The nurses who took care of her at the end told me that the parents who have lost a child always find each other in nursing homes, hospitals, etc. and it is like a lifelong support group.


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