|Because I could not stop for Death,|
|He kindly stopped for me ~Emily Dickinson|
I am not middle-aged. I tell myself that fairly often. I tell myself that when I realize I have a high-school-aged child–an impossibility considering it seems I was just in high school myself yesterday. I tell myself that when I have to cope with the fact that I no longer have a child who still believes in Santa. I tell myself that when I attend various birthday celebrations for relatives who’ve made it well into their nineties.
And for the last two days I’ve been telling myself that while I try to process the news of an acquaintance of mine–the mother of three high-school girls of her own–dying suddenly from an aneurysm earlier this week.
It’s impossible for me to comprehend the loss her family is experiencing right now. As horrible as a long-term illness like cancer is, at least in that situation the family has the opportunity to say good-bye and to prepare as much as possible for the inevitability of what is to come. In this case, a young, healthy mother attended her daughter’s basketball game, went home, complained of a headache, and was dead before morning.
And, of couse, she thought she had plenty of time. She probably told herself she wasn’t really “middle-aged.” There would be high school and college graduations, weddings and babies, and travel with her husband all to come. And they will come, but she won’t be there to see them.
So, I send out my condolences to the family and my thanks for the reminder that each moment is precious, and every day is a gift. A gift I plan to appreciate to the fullest.