Today I went to the funeral of a co-workers daughter. I’ve been thinking about her a lot since I heard her 20 year-old daughter died in a car accident Saturday. For instance, just over a year ago, Dori was in a motorcycle accident that could have ended much worse than it did. Last weekend, Macy and Pete drove to a church event and sent a text when they arrived safely as we agreed. Dill went with friends this weekend climbing trees to set up a hunting stand 15 feet up a tree.
Last Sunday, while we were enjoying a family dinner with B&D then Skyping with Dori…. this co-worker was planning her daughter’s funeral. It’s hard to let children grow up and become more independent and make their own mistakes. Some consequences are just too huge…. Too permanent.
Macy had some friends at her swim meet tonight. They are a young couple from our church with three young children. I watched the Mom hold one of the kids hand as they walked up the stairs to keep him from falling and the Dad put his hand on the back of another one’s head when he almost bumped a railing. After they left, Macy asked Pepper and I if we missed having young kids. I thought about how much easier it is to keep them safe when they are always in sight. I thought about a commercial for toilet tissue I once saw on TV where a Mom wraps her child in toilet paper before allowing him to get on a bike. At the time, I thought the commercial was ridiculous…. But now, I can see the desire to keep growing kids safe.
Today, another person at the funeral shook her head and whispered to me when she saw the co-worker barely holding it together: “There but for the grace of God go I” she said. Pepper mentioned later that I always seem to know what to say to people in these situations (like funerals and hospital visits) and it surprised me, because I always just say what I feel. When the co-worker hugged me and thanked me for coming I simply said, “No one should ever have to bury their child. I am so sorry you have to do this.”
“If you were my child, I would staple you to your bedroom wall.”~Myra McEntire, Hourglass