Saturday, September 24, 2011

Strange Gifts

Today I woke up feeling sad and out of sorts.  Last night, we got the news that a former student and current friend of my husband had died suddenly in a car accident.  He was just short of his 23rd birthday.  I happened to be on Facebook and read all of the heartbreaking tributes to his life.  I am sure, those comments will give his parents an element of peace at some point.  The fact that he touched so many lives was even more evident when Tenley came home from the dance with stories of how the news had affected her friends- boys he had coached.  His life was appreciated and he contributed and there will forever be a hole in the lives of all he touched.

 I didn't sleep well last night. I got up several times to check on the kids.   This morning, I heard little feet creep to my door and I could feel little eyes peering at me.  I waited to hear a little voice telling me he was hungry.  Instead, I heard little feet creep back down the hall and a door softly shut.  I kept listening and soon, the voice I heard was making spaceship noises and various sounds of ninja battle.  My sweet little boy was going to let me sleep!  However, I couldn't do it.  I lay and listened to those sounds accented occasionally by the sound of a sister turning in her bed.  Many thoughts were tossing around in my head.  It occurred to me why I get kind of impatient.when people come to me and can't understand 'how' we can handle all the chronic illness in our family   Not because I can't acknowledge the effort- it is hard, especially for the girls right now.   But it would be so much harder not to have the opportunity to handle it.  In that respect, it's a gift.  We are given second chances every day.  Not everyone can say that.  And this is what we try so hard to explain to our kids.  Yes, you have a challenge every day of your life but it's a precious life!

So, with that in mind, I climbed out of bed and peeked in on that little playing boy.  I don't know how long I watched him before he noticed I was there.  And when he looked up, he smiled the biggest, gap-tooth smile and my heart filled.  I could sleep in another time.  But today, I have to get this little one off to a parade.  And I made a vow to myself to remember, at least for today- that even teenage angst is something to cherish.

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