Saturday, March 10, 2007

Difficult Day

I was going to write this spirited blog about letter writing and how it’s fallen by the wayside and we should try to rejuvenate the whole practice, but it got erased. I’ll get to it later, because I really do want to comment about it…ironically through a blog.

But today was a hard day, so if you’ve had a hard or sad day, give this entry a pass for now. This morning I went to a funeral for the eleven year-old brother of one of my students. It was a tragic accident that I don’t really know the details of, but I know it happened quickly and ended in the hospital three days later. I never knew him but the girl is a real sweetie and she always livens up the class. A friend and mother told me it’s a parent’s worst nightmare to outlive their kids. I can see why, of course.

The service had such a mixture of tragedy, beauty, and laughter, for I realize that a funeral not only allows those who lost to grieve but it also serves as a celebration of a life, however short. The priests all knew him well from his involvement as an altar boy at his church, and they sent such a message of love, that we would all become better people for having known this boy and hearing about his ready smile, quick wit, and excitement for life. And I actually do feel a little better for knowing someone like that touched so many lives and managed to touch mine as well, just by hearing all of these stories about him. On the one hand, I found it heart-wrenching to see his fellow classmates walk in—they all had looks of disbelief on their faces, replaced with a raw realization of death as they walked out. On the other hand, they all have such great memories of him that they can allow those to influence their own lives. I felt such conflicting feelings: It kept going through my head how terrible it was that we all had to pack a church to support the family and friends of a little boy, but the fact that they didn’t have enough seats for all the mourners serves as a testament to him and his entire family.

I think tonight when I go to my future cousin-in-law’s art opening and watch the hockey game, my interactions with everybody will seem sharper, brighter, and more significant. I won’t go through the night passively; I’ll focus on the colors, the sounds of laughter, the taste of cold water in a glass, the feel of DF’s hand in mine. Maybe I’m just trying to say that these little moments that we don’t even think about make up a life, long or short, and we need to make the most of them and be aware of them.

Five Senses Friday:

Sound: A DVD of this little boy sweetly singing “It’s All Right to Cry” in a school play

Sight: The world through the lens of my new camera! Thanks for the tip, Mogs!

Smell: The spicy tomato soup I made the other night

Taste: Ditto the soup

Touch: The mink-like feel of our new blanket from the latest wedding shower—so soft!

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