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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Too Close to Home

My wife wrote a post about the horrific events of this past weekend. I had considered writing something about it myself, but this blog has been a little too light-hearted for such things. Still, I'd like to direct some of you over to her site for this.

For my part, I still don't know how to deal with this. We read about tragedy in the community, about parents dying and leaving 10 orphans, and think, "that's terrible, too bad," and then turn to the sports page. There's a mean-spririted tendency to try to distance ourselves from this sadness by casting blame, like it's the parents' fault that there was an accident, or that they left the stove on, or whatever.

But I can't marginalize this case. For one, I know these people. I've known the woman for 18 years. My wife carpooled with them. And also because I see so many parallels here. I just returned from this same trip. I was driving a van stuffed with small kids. I wasn't always paying attention to the road or observing the speed limit. I'm not saying that any of this had anything to do with the tragedy, chas veshalom. I'm saying that but for a split second where divine protection might have been lifted, that could have been me, and those could by my children crying at a midnight funeral on Saturday night.

And so I think about the husband with 10 children, the youngest 4 months. What will he do? How will he take care of them? How can he return to work, resume a normal life? And the children, especially the toddler and the infant, who will grow up not knowing their mother.

And I wonder about what I would do if G-d-forbid something should happen to my wife. I don't know how I would go on. I would be totally lost.

And then I think, "what if I never got to say another word to my children? What if the last conversation I had with them was the last conversation I would ever have with them? What did I say? How will they remember my last words? Was I too critical? Was I in a bad mood? Mean?" What legacy will I leave?

It's still too hard to fathom.


Jack's Shack said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. I don't know that there any answers that would feel good in a situation like this, just the cliche about living each day as if it is your last.

Beyond that kiss, hug and hold your family and make sure that they know how precious they are to you.

dilbert said...

Excellent points. To tell the truth, when I saw the news article, you were the first person I thought of, then I remembered that you were safely back in town. When tragedy strikes we can only look at ourselves and try to make ourselves better.

There is an old saying about marriage "never go to bed mad." But it is even more applicable towards the children. I always try to make sure they know they are loved as they snuggle in for the night, no matter what went on during the day.

Wickwire said...

I believe we help them a little just by our feelings for them in their sad times. Every little bit helps in sorrow that deep. I hope things will work out for them and they get back to smiling again soon. It's what their mom would want.

Stacey said...

This is so very sad. Just tragic. May her memory be a blessing.