Clothes carelessly scattered over the floor of my children’ rooms are usually enough to get my blood pressure shooting up to lethal levels warranting a visit to the ER.
Every pair of smelly socks that I unearth from under a sofa is a cue to open curtains on the most explosive show of fireworks ever displayed. One that would shame even the best July 4th celebrations in the country.
The occasional ‘B’ among several ‘A’s on a child’s report card has been instrumental in me experiencing a few fairytale-like fainting spells giving me a chance to test the strength of the smelling salts that I once bought over eBay.
Feel free to pull up a chair because I can go on forever about all that my kids do or not do to push me to the brink of a cardiac arrest on any normal day.
I am a perfectionist. Not by desire or design. I simply am one. Or I was until yesterday.
A 15 year old child from our community took her last breath two days ago. Yesterday was her funeral.
She was a beautiful girl, so full of promises. She had sung like a dream. She had played tennis with the grace and ease afforded by youth. She had brought home her share of good grades and had laughed wildly with the abandon of a teenager. She would have sulked, rebelled and cried too. She could have been mine or yours. Today she is just a statistic. One more life snapped off before its time by the cruel claws of Leukemia.
What wouldn’t her parents do to see her clothes lying messily in her room today? What wouldn’t they give to see her walk through the front door one more time with a report card? Where would they not go to retrieve her sweat drenched dirty socks?
With a heavy heart, I realize today that I have lost the desire to raise flawless children. I don’t want to see them grow up to be perfect angels. I want to see them grow up. It only took the death of a child to make me understand a simple truth - our children are precious gifts that we quite so often forget to cherish and enjoy.
I am going to have to control myself into not giving big hugs when my children next come home with a few ‘less than perfect’ grades. After all, I don’t want to confuse them.
My heartfelt condolences to the family. May God give them the strength to survive this grief and find meaning in life.