Monday, May 10, 2010

Blink, and it's gone: a story of loss and opportunity

Time is precious.

And precious time spent with my children and family is priceless.

As we close the books on another Mother's Day, I am reminded yet again that life is short and nothing should be taken for granted.

Roo has learned this the hard way this spring. There have been several tragedies in our cheer family, including the death of a mom who lost her 2-year fight with lymphoma a mere two months before her daughter would graduate from high school. It was a hard loss. We were all shocked and heartbroken, even though, ultimately, it was not unexpected.

But the one that keeps my daughter at my side, looking at me with new eyes, is the story of another mom. The mom of another cheer friend and her sophomore classmate.

When the girls qualified for nationals this past year, I had a conversation with this mom (who we will call Lois) about going to Florida with the team. She hadn't gone the year before because her daughter (Katie) had been fractured her ankle and had been unable to actually compete.

This year, though ... THIS year.

"I'm going," Lois told me last December. "I don't care how I have to do it, what I have to sell to pay for it. I'm going. Who knows if Katie's ankle will hold out for another year. This might be my last opportunity."

Time passed. Plans were made. Lois ultimately didn't go to watch our daughters perform the routine of their lives.

I don't know why she didn't go. She's kind of an odd duck, and I kind of shrugged it off as another bit of oddness. I knew that I was going to be in the stands for my daughter, and that was that.

A couple of weeks ago, Lois fell. Why? We don't know what happened or how, but we do know that she hit her head in the fall.

She is currently in the hospital with no brain activity, on life support, not expected to ever recover.

She will never again make dinner for her family. She will never give goodnight kisses or comforting hugs. She will never drive carpool again. She will never see her daughter graduate from high school or go to college or get married or have babies of her own.

And she will never go to Florida for nationals.

In an instant, it was all gone.

Katie is back at school. She is doing, as she puts it, "as well as could be expected."

But my daughter and I look at each other, and we know.

It only takes an instant, and it's all gone.

Hug your children tight. Go everywhere and attend everything. Make every sacrifice.

Because you never know.

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms


Indigo said...

Profound post dear friend. And oh so true...(Hugs)Indigo

LceeL said...

Sometimes, in the day to day, we forget. The 'small stuff' gets lost in the shuffle.

My #2 Son, the married man, doesn't understand why I call him to talk to him, so often.

I'm going to send him a link to this post.

This is why, Alex. This is why.

Rachel said...

Janet. Oh my word.
My heart just breaks for that mom and her daughter.

I think of you and Roo often.

This is so sad and such a good reminder at the same time.

Never take life for granted.

Burgh Baby said...


The Duchess of Wessex said...

Those of us that get this are truly fortunate!

I am willing my son home with all the loving/powerful thoughts I can send his way!!

Huckdoll said...

Such sadness.

But such an eye opener to truly appreciate every single second and to make moments and memories.

Thank you.

And hugs to you and Roo. said...

Oh, Janet. What a wonderful post. You are right, of course. Every moment is precious and when there are no more moments they become worth even more.

Karen said...

Oh, hon. The things Roo has had to deal with this year are staggering. That poor girl. What a sobering and humbling post.

becky @ misspriss said...

My heart breaks for that girl and her family. Even as my son pushes the limits & tries my patience, I try to remember that it will pass. And hug him tight in the morning.

Texasholly said...

Thanks for the reminder. It is all so frightfully true.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

So so true. I'm getting off this computer and going to curl up with my little boy now. Thanks for the reminder and I'll keep that family in my prayers.

Tara R. said...

Such tragic losses, so heartrending. I need to call my college kid and hug my son.

Kaytabug said...

I just can not imagine what that family is going through, it is so heartbreaking.
What a lovely post, and a great reminder. Thank you.

Janet said...

Isn't that the truth! I was diagnosed with blood clots in my lungs yesterday...hopefully they'll dissolve and all will be well :-)

MarytheKay said...

Beautiful, beautiful. It's sad that the best reminders for us to appreciate the beautiful little things comes from the heartbreaking tragedy of another... But, thank you for sharing that reminder for me today.

Pamela said...


All Rights Reserved. Planet of Janet, 2010.