Friday, April 18, 2008

Precarious

I don't really have adequate words for today.

On April 18, 1983, when Alex was eight years old, his father was killed in the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. That was 25 years ago today. I know that Alex has thought of his father on every single day of those 25 years. This man, whom I wish I could have met, was killed in a violent attack at the hands of terrorists years before Alex should have even had to know the word "terrorist."

I was only ten at the time and didn't know a whole lot about terrorism. But unfortunately, I did know about life without a father. My father had died in a car accident when I was seven. That man, whom I wish I could have known better, was killed in an unfortunate accident years before I should have had to learn about unfortunate accidents.

Yesterday, a beautiful and sunny day full of the promise of life and joy, changed suddenly for me when a friend told me about the family of a child Sam went to preschool with last year. I didn't know the father, although I'm sure I'd met him, but this girl's mother is one of those people with a glow. It's the glow that comes with a contagious smile and a beauty of spirit. This woman's husband suddenly passed away early this week. They have two daughters, one of whom is six, one of whom is 11. This man, whom I wish his kids could have gotten to know better, was stolen from his wife and children years before they should have had to learn to live without him.

Life can be scary and dangerous and it can make you learn things you don't want to learn. It's never a good time for death. But there are definitely bad times for it. Give your kids some hugs. Give your husband or wife or partner a hug too. Call your mom or dad. And take a minute with me to remember those parents who died too early and the loved ones who had to learn these harsh lessons.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for this timely reminder of the fragility of life. Every.Life.

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  2. Wow, powerful post. 9/11 hit close for me. dad works in the JTTF and watched it happen, while i was in midtown talking on the phone with him, hubby was on his way to the building for work meeting. too many friends there. I swear every time there is a blue sky, i think of that day.

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  3. I wasn't young when my father died, I was 33, not seven. But the loss of him, the grief ... it goes on and on.

    Sharing my pain with you, friend, and thank you for the reminder to hug the ones I love even harder than I usually do.

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  4. When I went through a painful experience in my marriage years ago, I remember just crying to the therapist that I wanted the pain to go away. She reminded me that having the layers of pain will heal, but the thorn would always be there. And the thorn needed to be there so I could continue to grow. I lost my mother at a young age (I was 10) and now that my dad is going through many a health issue, I am PETRIFIED. I know losing a parent has shaped me in so many ways... and I don't often miss a moment to let my children know how loved they are.
    {{{HUGS}}} to you and alex

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  5. Oh, honey. I'm so sorry. And you didn't even mention it at playdate today -- Oh, gawd, I feel so very selfish, bubbling over with my good news.

    You all have my prayers today, and I am sorry that you ALL had to experience this at such a young age.

    I just didn't know. How awful.

    What a very good post. Thanks.

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  6. That post really hit home. Sometimes it's all too easy to take the ones you love for granted. Those are great reminders that we should never do that.

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  7. Thanks for the beautiful post. It's a great reminder for us all.

    ~C

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  8. Sending you a hug. And passing one around our house too...

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  9. Thanks for reminding me of the fragility of life which is often forgotten amidst the chaos of our regular routine.

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  10. Hugs for you, your family and Sam's friends family. Thanks for the always needed reminder. One does never know. We do all need to stop and remember. Small things likes hugs and I love you aren't really small. They are huge.

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  11. This is very eery. You see, today is 9th anniversary of my mother's passing. I lost her when I was 25, and I feel blessed that I was able to know her, to have her meet my husband. I feel for young kids who have lost their father this week. My heart is with them.

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  12. What a good post. My husband's father died when he was 4 and he has no memories and only one photograph with both of them in it. My husband never remembers his father ever being spoken of. Thanks for this - I have been so hard on my husband recently and sadly I need to be reminded to give him a break. I'm really sad for both you and Alex, and the children you mention. How terrifying.

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  13. This is a great post. Thank you for ending my saturday with an exclaimation mark!

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  14. Going to go hug my family right now - and make sure I do it as often as I can. While they go buy mace, I will say thank you for reminding me that our time together can be taken away anytime. Thank you Stimey, I'm sorry for your pain, and now I'm going to (hug you).

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  15. So true. And so sad that it always seems to take a tragic loss to remind us of how much we need to appreciate every second with those that we love. We've spent the past two weeks here mourning the loss of the newborn son of a very dear friend and it has been an incredibly sad and life changing experience for me. My condolences on the anniversary of your losses.

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  16. Big smootchy hugs babe for making me step back and realise how lucky I really am.

    Even if MPS is being a total arsehat and I want to slap him, I am thankful.

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  17. Thank you for sharing this post. It is such unimaginable grief to lose a parent at any age much less as a child. I keep thinking of the quote that sticks with me still since my dad died. It's by Franz Grillparzer and says "Come death, if you will: you cannot divide us; you can only unite us."
    I'm so sorry for your losses. -Monica

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  18. My heart breaks for you both.

    Such a powerful post.

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