I was mad at God Christmas morning. Of all days, I had to pick Christmas to hold a grudge. The morning started out great. I was awake before anyone else, had time to myself, my thoughts and a blank page. Excited for the house to wake, I posted my new blog on Face Book. Eager to get upstairs and watch everyone wake to the morning.
On Face Book I read about a woman I had recently been back in contact with since her families move to San Diego. Her husband posted on her page…she died on Christmas Eve in a car accident. Becky was gone. On Christmas Eve? That’s when the anger with God started. Her two little boys would never have a normal Christmas again. Her husband was left to pick up the pieces after her tragic death.
You don’t even have to know someone really well to be affected by their death. What I knew about Becky was enough to make me feel fragile all day. I can’t even begin to imagine how her husband, young boys, friends, parents, family feel.
Becky’s oldest son went to pre-school with my son two years ago. She watched my son one day while I was on vacation out of the country. Our boys played together a couple of times outside of school. Her son gave my son a moon lamp for his birthday. She showed up with a smile and honest words in the brief time I knew her. And she said something to me standing in the bright sunshine on her porch that I have fantasized about including in the book I am writing. Her words were poignant, stinging with beauty and honesty. It was in those words that I knew I liked Becky.
She asked about my writing and I told her I was writing about the crappy side of being a mom and what the working title was – she immediately retorted – You should call it, Don’t Do It.
We stood there laughing in the sunshine. Only knowing each other briefly and she didn’t hold back being real. I got the honor of seeing the true Becky. Beautiful, funny, loving…damn honest. We continued to talk about the real side of being a mom, no airs, false selves put aside.
She moved away with her family and we only recently got back in touch via email.
Learning of her death Christmas morning left me in a puddle. Stunned. My heart goes out to her sons Ethan and Reid, to her husband, Jeff, whom I have never met but who was on my mind all day today. I moved with a fragileness that left me aware and utterly raw. Our lives are so precious and we have no idea. No idea at all.
My day didn’t end with anger at God, just a numbness that is slowly thawing. An exhaustion that leaves me full of love and hope because that’s all we have. And even when it doesn’t feel like it, it’s all we need.