This week I look at things with a different set of eyes.
When I was a little girl my cousin had a friend that was our age. My aunt stayed home and would often watch my brother and I while my mom worked. She would sometimes watch my cousin's friend as well. As little girls we would color in coloring books with chipped crayons. The three of us coveted the Barbie coloring book. My cousin and I each had one. When one favorite page was colored, there was always the duplicate in the other book. Of course we played dolls, make-believe, on the swing set and dress up but it is that coloring book that I remember most.
One day at my cousin's, I remember a hushed conversation between the adults.
"I can't believe she's gone, and the kids too..."
I didn't understand it at the time. I didn't understand what death was. I didn't understand how a child could die.
A car accident.
My cousin and I were told that our playmate was gone, and she wasn't coming back. I couldn't understand because she was in my coloring book. The pinks, the greens. the lavender scribbles...all above where she scratched out her name with the apprehensive staccato of a schoolgirl.
Her name was still in my coloring book. I couldn't understand that she wasn't coming back. I kept that coloring book for years and would find it every once in a while as I was growing up. Sometimes I would forget why I still had it but after thumbing through it I would remember. I would feel the same confusion I had as a little girl. No matter how much I had aged, I still couldn't understand. Her name was still in my coloring book.
I feel that way again this week. This week a young mother, who I only casually know but is very close to a good friend of mine, was in a horrible car accident. She had her two year old and her four year old in the car with her. Her two year old, although badly hurt, will grow up in her mother's arms. Her four year now rests in the arms of God. She is in the hospital suffering from major physical injuries. Over time she will heal from these injuries but will be emotionally wrecked for life.
I don't understand it. I have seen people that I love leave this world too early and suddenly without warning. Although painful, over time I could at least try to rationalize it. I could try to understand. A child, I cannot. I can't even let myself try.
One thing I have learned this week, is that I am not a one man show. No one is. I cannot only rely on myself because the way I live my life affects others. There are people that care for me and love me. I care for an love others. Sometimes I take that for granted. It is easy to let 'I love you' wander from the lips. Don't let it wander without direction. Don't say it without thought. Show it to those you love, show it every day. Accept it as well. One never knows what length of the thread of life has been spun for any soul. A person, no matter how much love is given or received, may be gone without warning. Everyday must be treated as a gift, lived to its fullest potential.