I Didn’t Know

Work is busy this week.  We’re gearing up to gear up for the start of school.  Optional teacher workshops started this Monday, and new teachers will begin working next Monday.  School begins for students August 13.  I literally don’t know where this summer went.

But I’m glad for the business, for the distraction.  It keeps me from thinking too hard about a reality I’d rather not face.  Today, though, it snuck up on me.  Right in the middle of our study, I found myself sitting alone in front of the computer with tears running down my face.

Thanks to our wireless setup and my laptop from work, I don’t often venture into the study these days, preferring to hang out on my comfy bed instead.  But my old computer, the one with all our pictures from about 2003 until 2006, resides there sharing space alongside Adventure Guy’s much more impressive new turbo-charged, double-monitored system.

And I needed pictures.  The gymnastics team DD2 competed with for years is working on a very special project.  They are getting the word out to gymnasts past and present who had the opportunity to be coached by Coach C., my friend who’s fighting cancer.  One of the team moms has volunteered to put together a digital scrapbook to remind her of what a difference she’s made in the lives of so many girls over the years.  We’re hoping it will raise her spirits, now that her health has taken a definite turn for the worse.

I love the idea.  But I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.  Coach C. spotting DD2 on the bars.  Cheering on her girls as they competed.  Young.  Strong.  Healthy.  I don’t have as many pictures of her as I’d like.  I didn’t know it would be so important to have taken them. I didn’t know that only a few short years later, she’d be writing about hair loss from chemo therapy, asking to borrow walkers, and talking about how she shared the news of her impending death with her young children.

While I struggle with understanding the reasons for her suffering, for the pain this disease is causing her family, I know that I’ve taken away a lesson from all of this.  We don’t always know what’s important.  We don’t always know when things will change.  It’s so very crucial to enjoy life and the people in it who matter to us while we can.  I just wish that lesson didn’t come at so high a price.

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