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When commas move………………

January 10, 2009

Angel asked me why it is always “comma and Angel”.  She asked this when she saw me signing Christmas-slash-holiday-slash-Hanukkah-slash-Happy Tuesday cards with our names – Number One Hubby, Me, Bear, Flower, and Angel. Comma and Angel. She is right – that is how it always goes. I am not really sure why. I don’t have an answer for her – my parenting gods did not send a creative thought to my brain – so I just looked at her and said, “Honey, that’s just the way I write it – in order.” But, I am no dummy, I am going to put money in her Freud-slash-college savings account just in case she needs further explanation later in life.

Growing up, my family has had a lot of changes in commas and sometimes I was behind the “comma and” too. She is right, it’s not always the most glamorous spot. So, today when we went to get hair cuts and I signed the kids in, I called Angel over. Watch this. I wrote – Angel, Flower comma and Bear. She laughed. Oh, yes, she remembered and she smiled for at least an hour. She got to go first – and they had to wait their turn – behind her. Sweet comma justice.

Then I got home and read an email from our neighborhood swim team that one of our swim team family members has very unexpectedly passed away. She was 17 and she had a wonderful shy smile that was really lovely and warm and kind. Her gentle presence will be so missed. She is already missed. She would look at you under her eyelashes – not in coy clever way – but in an unassuming soft-hearted way – a more comfortable in the background way. We do not know the family well. But I cannot imagine – I am sure as you read this your heart is racing and prayers are forming. You might even be crying – I am. A loss like this runs so deep and true and is felt by everyone who hears its story. You cannot walk away from it unaffected. It’s impossible. Don’t even try.

Their comma has moved. Their family of four is now a family of three. Their new, unanticipated emptiness must feel so heavy – and so unnecessary. So hard to believe. So unfair. Unspeakable really. Just so very unreasonable. So many questions that will never find answers. I realize I am just a bystander – barely a shadow in their tremendous new void. Their own pain must be suffocating, unbearable – it is certainly unthinkable. Horrible. Very hard to get your heart around. I am writing about it because I am waiting to figure out what else to do. As I said, I do not know them well but I have a huge want to do something, to help, to change it. Yeah, I know, tragically there is no way for that to happen. It will not – it simply cannot change. Damn. Because we do not know them well, it is not appropriate for me to insert myself into their lives now, even with the best of intentions. So I am simply left with prayers for her family. Prayers that might not ever find answers. It does not seem like much to offer. They are left with so much less.

I am going to explain to Angel that she is, in fact, very lucky that her comma is right where we left it. Unmoved.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2009 11:14 am

    This just breaks my heart. AND my youngest pointed teh same thing out ot me on my holiday card just the other day.

    • January 12, 2009 12:53 pm

      yes, it is very hard – her family must still be spinning – I am sure that their spinning will never really stop

  2. January 11, 2009 8:43 am

    Lola and Cat – our neighborhood is just so sad.

  3. January 11, 2009 6:26 am

    What a sad happening in their lives.
    And how masterly described.

  4. January 10, 2009 11:14 pm

    How truly sad. I’m sure one of your gorgeous cards with some of your beautiful words would be appreciated.

  5. January 10, 2009 9:49 pm

    Josie – it is just so hard to understand – even from a distance. I know prayer helps but it feels so inactive.

  6. January 10, 2009 8:17 pm

    How absolutely awful! We need to appreciate all our loved ones every single day! Cherish every moment! Do not feel that prayers are not much to offer because the power in prayer is tremendous!

  7. January 10, 2009 8:02 pm

    badass – heartbreaking indeed – unspeakably heartbreaking.

  8. January 10, 2009 4:34 pm

    That is heartbreaking. My thoughts to those who are missing their child.

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