One of my roommates in college had a black mug that said “Life is a bitch. Then you die.” She thought it was awesome, and used it all the time. Back then, we really had no clue what a bitch life really could be.
My other roommate knew we were clueless. She spent the summer between sophomore and junior year taking care of her mother. Her mom had advanced cancer, and sadly she died that summer. It must have been very difficult to come back to school and deal with roommates like us after such an experience.
I was 23 when I had my first eye-opening experience. It was early on a Saturday morning when I got a phone call from my cousin. I was still in bed, sleeping in. Her husband had just tried to commit suicide by hanging himself from the banister with a belt while she was taking a bath. She had already called 911, but really needed someone to come. Her parents, normally close by, were on vacation. The 45-minute drive over to their place seemed to take forever. The whole weekend was a blur: seeing him in the emergency room, spending time in the hospital, supporting my cousin until her parents arrived….
The end of the story? My cousin tried to help her husband through many, many therapists, but eventually he didn’t want help and their marriage ended in divorce. She is happily married to someone else. I have no idea what happened to her ex.
As I was reading other blogs yesterday, Michele from It’s a dog’s life told us her daughter-in-law is going through a loss right now, and she is only 22. And so I started thinking of my own life….
Fortunately, there are also wonderful things to balance the tragedies. The good friendships, family, the many blessings of life.
Our family is in the middle of the grieving process. Last week we lost a mother and grandmother, and remembering the years we had with her is helping us heal. It makes Ed and me sad that Emmy is too little to remember her grandma, but we’ll fill in the details with pictures and stories. My mother-in-law didn’t want any pictures taken of her when she was so ill, but we managed to snap a couple without her knowledge! We really wanted a record of her with her granddaughters, so that as they get older, they will be able to see how much Grandma loved them. And that’s what life is. Love.