I was going to do a post today about shopping for kid’s clothes. I started it a few times, got up, did something else, came back to it, but I’m just not feeling it. At all. Sometimes, with all that is going on in the world, talking about where to get cheap shoes seems so……insignificant. When I heard that an 8 year old boy died in the Boston Marathon bombings, a familiar heaviness and deep sorrow came over me. It is the same feeling that I experienced after Newtown-which affected me so profoundly I often am at a loss of words to explain it. Events like these affect every single human being. Every single one. But as a parent, the effect is a bit different. For me, the Newtown and Boston events triggered a grief so deep-but also a guilt. Guilt about being able to hug my babies-give them their bath, get annoyed that they’re not eating their veggies (again), read them their favorite book. And the parents who lost their kids can’t. Shortly after Newtown, my daughter had her preschool Christmas show. It was the first she had ever participated in. It was the cutest thing EVER. But as soon as it started, I started to cry. Not because the show was that good, but because I felt guilty. I was so blessed that I could watch her. That I could be there as my daughter donned her angel wings and sang Christmas songs. That she could giggle onstage as she forgot the words and dance all around-looking to make sure we were watching her. I thought of all those parents who were robbed of that experience. And it hurt my heart. I find myself feeling these exact emotions again now. I took my kids to the park today to meet some of my daughter’s preschool friends and their moms, and immediately I thought about that 8 year old boy in Boston who went to the big race to watch his family’s friends cross the finish line. I then felt guilty about asking what kind of pizza all the kids wanted when we went out to lunch afterwards. But I know life goes on. And we all must continue and do our best to appreciate every single minute that we are blessed enough to have.
Another thing came to my attention yesterday. A mother’s blog. A blog that was only meant as a way for her to update family and friends about her young son’s health condition. It’s called Chasing Rainbows. (http://www.kateleong.com/ -please read. You will never forget it.) It’s about a beautiful family that has overcome more hardships than most families dream of, yet still hadn’t come across their most difficult one-losing their 6 year old son, Gavin. He was born with a mysterious genetic condition, giving him life-long health issues. After a long list of issues, he fell very ill and eventually progressed to brain death. His family made the decision to donate his organs, which they did yesterday. This family’s story really affected me. For one, my job before I became a stay at home mother was an organ transplant coordinator. I would have been the one to come to Gavin’s mother to talk to her about donating his organs. Then I would have monitored, cared for him and kept him stable, treating him as necessary. Next is finding recipients for his organs and bringing him to the operating room, where surgeons would remove and prepare his organs to be transplanted. I know the process all too well. What I don’t know about is being on the other side. About having to say good bye to your child. About having to leave his body, knowing that afterwards he’ll spend the night in a cold morgue and not in your arms. I know nothing about that.
I know nothing about going to a marathon and when it’s over, not being able to go get pizza and ice cream and talk about how much fun you all had. I know nothing about dropping my kids off at school and then going to a firehouse and waiting to see if they walk in to meet me there, only to find out that they were killed by a psychotic gunman. I know nothing about those things. And I pray to God that I never do. I pray that you don’t either.
I know that life goes on. But for now, I just can’t post about shoes.