Saturday, 1 June 2013

I don't give thanks enough

I don't give thanks enough
1 June 2013

I like to think of myself as a positive kind of person. As someone who does not dwell on negativity often.  Nor indulge in it either.  I tend to be upbeat and optimistic.  Grateful there even is a glass – never once considering that it could be half empty at all.  But do I actually say thanks enough? 

Just every so often, one gets a little wake-up.  And sometimes that “little” wake-up, is more of a giant volcano/tsunami inspired wake-up.  A real direct hit to the solar plexus.  Nothing gentle or genteel about it.  And maybe this is so, because every so often one needs it.

I find myself annoyed by my kids sometimes.  I know, that human though it is, I still feel terrible admitting it.  Furthermore, they can by trying.  Even irritating.  They are demanding.  Nearly all of the time.  And even when they are not physically demanding of my time, they still take up head space in my head.  And horrible though it is to admit this too, I do enjoy my mornings when they are at school and I am able to get on with my day, and just get stuff done.  However, this does not mean that I don’t love them.  Because I do.  In fact, I adore them.  But as anyone who has kids can tell you, they are hard work.

And then, within a space of about two weeks, we have had two tragedies strike at my children’s Primary school.  A ten year old little girl, in Grade 5, the same grade as my daughter, died unexpectedly from complications that set in due to a burst appendix.  She had been feeling poorly for a bit and missed a whole week of school.  Her mother had done everything right.  First she had gone to the chemist to get some meds, obviously not knowing what was wrong at that stage.  Then things got stepped up a notch and when her daughter got really ill, she took her to the hospital.  Initially they were still unsure as to what was wrong.  They ran some tests, decided on an operation (not for the appendix), discovered the appendix, did what they could and from all accounts she was on the mend.  She was going to pull through.  Until she unexpectedly took a turn for the worst and sadly passed away.  Shock reverberated right through our little school community.  Everyone was devastated.  She sat behind Amber in maths and was a sweet little girl.  The school handled it brilliantly.  They called all of the Grade 5’s together and the head master explained what had happened.  They immediately got in a grief councillor, and furthermore gave extra support to the Korean community within the school, as the little girl had been Korean.  My heart aches for her family.  How quickly one’s life changes.  She was an only child, to a single mother.  How terribly empty her life will be now.

Everyone was still reeling from this loss, when another tragedy struck very unexpectedly last week Sunday.  A family, with four children in our school, where the mother had been a cultural coordinator until last year, lost a little baby girl.  Just weeks after her first birthday.  They had a family get together, celebrating life, togetherness and all of the children in the family’s achievements, when they noticed the little girl not being there.  The mom walked outside, to find her eight year old young son, doing CPR on his baby sister, having dragged her out of the pool.  They had all been inside, due to the miserable weather, but a sliding door had been left slightly open for the family pets.  And though the pool was covered, there was apparently one corner of the pool covering that had given away.  And that was all that it took.

When Amber came home and told me, I was shattered.  It is just so upsetting and I have cried lots about this.  The little brother that tried to save her, is the same age as Cole.  And I remember sitting with the mom next to the sports field, watching our kids.  First discussing her pregnancy.  Then admiring her new baby.  Even holding her on occasion.  How cruel, that one’s life can change in a heartbeat.  From one minute to the next. 

I don’t want to imagine the horror of losing a child.  I keep thinking how happy they all were when they left their house for their granny’s last Sunday morning.  And how different their lives were once they walked back inside their house again.  I can’t imagine walking in and seeing baby stuff all over the house.  Toys, clothes, a blankie, perhaps a bottle still dotted around.  How can one wrap your head around it?  How can your life make sense thereafter?  How do you pick yourself up and keep going on? 

My heart just aches and it has consumed a lot of my thoughts this past week.  One of the little baby’s sisters is in Amber’s class.  And once again, school prepared the kids well.  They shared with Amber’s class what had happened to their friend and explained all so that they could be supportive once she returned to school and not ask too many questions.  And by Tuesday, she was back.  As for my thoughts on the young little boy?  Such bravery.  The pool was apparently a little bit away from the house, and rather than waste valuable time, running for adult help, he immediately understood that it was up to him to help his little sister.

And all of these events have crystallised for me, how very, very grateful I am for my kids and their presence in my life.  I can’t comprehend a world without them.  And I would never want to.  No parent wants to.  The law of nature dictates that children outlive their parents.  It is the way it is supposed to be.  The alternative is too awful for words.  But sadly this happens.  Parents are not meant to stand around the open grave of a child.  It is wrong.  And heart breaking.

My heart goes out to those families that have suffered the inconceivable loss of a child.  I don’t think one can ever fully recover from it.  My thoughts are with you and I hope that you find some measure of solace and peace in happy memories.

I am filled with gratitude for my perfect kids.  Even when they are trying and slightly irritating and demanding of me, I still have them in my life.  I am one hundred percent convinced that the mother of that little baby, will give anything to have just one more night of unbroken sleep.  To change one more nappy.  To have a home littered with baby toys and paraphernalia once more.

Losing a child, must be like the death of a dream.  One that can never be realised.  The end of a fairy tale and a life filled with endless possibilities.

I am truly so very, very sorry for your loss.

I will give thanks every day for my beautiful, magnificent children that have blessed my life so richly.  How barren my world would be without them.

Because life is precious and sadly rather fragile.  And so I shall rejoice in them.  For they are my heart, my warmth, my love.

Thank you

This is just so lovely

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