Last night Ava brought me an envelope from school. She told me I had to read it.
It was formal and addressed “To the parents of”. I opened it wondering what it was. As I read, I felt my stomach lurch and gasped. She asked me what it said. I told her it wasn’t anything for her. She played happily with Allie.
I was sick. One of her classmates passed away that morning. From cancer. After being diagnosed only a week earlier. After being sick for just a week before that.
It’s horrible. It’s heartbreaking. It’s the most unfair thing ever.
There was such a sadness that filled me. I called J and we prepared to talk to her when he got home.
Having dealt with the death of my mom, I think she understood the implications more than most kids her age. But the thought that cancer and death could happen to a child is what really made me nervous about her reaction. I didn’t want her to be scared for herself. I wasn’t sure what she’d ask.
She took it so well. I don’t think it truly set in. She asked questions sporadically throughout the night.
I’ll tell you this, I hugged those girls tighter than I possibly could. I told them I loved them 100 times more than usual. I didn’t let Ava out of my sight. The thought that something so incredibly tragic could happen to a parent just crumpled me up inside. The thought of those parents going through the happiest season to kids without their little baby is incomprehensible. The thought that innocent little friends have to think about a friend that won’t come back? It’s just. Not. Fair.
Love your babies. Hard. Take a breath the next time you’re frustrated and love them even more. I know I will.