Monday, October 6, 2014

a battle ended

Kids are amazing. Really, they are. But sometimes they are hard. Sometimes their breakdowns and irrational fits and persistent neediness seem to shine a bit brighter than their amazing-ness. Life, though, reminds you of how amazing your children are. Of how privileged you are to be their parent. Even when you wish the reminder had taken a different form.

Yesterday a life-long friend of the Shafer family passed away. He battled cancer for the last 4.5 years, and he battled hard. There is a never a good time to die. There is a never a "fair" time to go. But here's the thing....Tim was mine and Andrew's age. Early 30s. He was a beloved husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. He and his wife and family fought valiantly for so long. And the fight ended last night. A wife is left without her husband. Parents are left with a giant hole that their son should fill. 

Each time I have picked up one of my two precious boys today, I've thought of Tim's mom. I can't get her out of my head. Barnes has wanted to be carried all day, and despite his increasing heaviness, I've complied more than usual. I've scooped him up and kissed his full, shiny hair. I've cuddled Shepherd close and nuzzled his still preciously bald head. And I've thought of Tim's mom. About how many times she picked him up. About how many times he asked her to carry him well past when he was capable of walking on his own. About how many kisses she layered on his head over the past thirty-plus years. About how many times she told him to stop, to wait, to not run so fast...and how many times he didn't listen. I am certain that when she carried her three-year-old son, this is not what she envisioned.

There is so much to learn from this precious family. From the wife, the parents, the brother, the in-laws who personified love and devotion. From Tim, whose attitude was astounding. 

When my kids ask me to hold them this week, I am going to try to remember Tim's family and how they would love to hold him one more time. When they are crazy and hyper and not listening, I will try to focus on how cherished these memories will one day be. And each time I get to kiss my sweet child's head, I will try to remember to send a prayer for those who no longer have that luxury.

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