when tragedy hits close to home, i get weird.

Our neighborhood is colorful and interesting, and for the most part just hard working families that are trying to make it work in a hard economy.  It’s just a bunch of middle class Joe’s in the suburbs.  It’s not super nice, but it’s certainly not ghetto.  I’d say it’s the average for America right now, maybe even a little better than average from what I hear on tv.  I’m going to tell you something though, people in our world are hurting right now.  I mean, desperately in some internal pain.

I can’t even tell you the amount of people that are divorcing, in financial desperation, having affairs, being cheated on, seriously depressed, caring for seriously ill children, and the list goes on.  It makes me so thankful to have what we have I can’t even tell you.  The past week or so my world was a little rocked.

There are some neighbor kids that mine play with on occasion.  They come over to the house and spend a day, and when they’re here, I feel the tug.  Do you know this feeling, when a kid just needs some extra love and attention and just their presence tugs on your heart?  I just want to mother the crap out of them and smother them with love because I feel their need.  It’s not necessarily that they have bad parents or those who don’t love them.  Maybe they work crazy hours just to make ends meet or maybe they just have so much of an internal struggle going on they can’t give the kids all they need for right now.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but sometimes I’ve been annoyed by their neediness.  Like, “how can I mother one more child today?!  I’m all out of giving.”  It makes me sad to even type that, but I know I’ve felt it.

Last week, one of those little girls found her mom in bed covered in blood drained from her wrists.  The ambulance came and miraculously she was saved just in time.  She recovered and returned home late in the week.  My daughter heard from her daughter the details and it was just heart-wrenching.  She came home and told me about it and just hugged me long and tight.  She thanked me for being such a good mom and for not being sick.  It tore me apart.

Yesterday, as our  family set out to spend some Sunday Fun Day time together, a firetruck entered our development and turned toward that hurting mom’s street.  I asked my husband to follow it, so I could confirm what my gut was telling me.    I probably shouldn’t have since the kids were in the car, but I couldn’t help myself.  The truck stopped in front of their house, and my baby girl started crying immediately.  She knew.

We turned around and continued on, because what the heck could we do?  I tried consoling Elle, telling her it was just a fire truck and not an ambulance, so we didn’t know what was really going on yet.  And then, as we drove down the main road, two police cars and an ambulance met us.  All I could do was sob.

My heart breaks for that mom, a woman who is so broken that she can’t hold on for her children.  I understand depression; I’ve lived it more than I care to admit.  But I don’t understand it to that level.  I may not have had it in me to keep the house clean or properly take care of my kids for a few days, but I’ve never been able to entertain the idea of leaving them behind with that kind of pain forever.  I can’t even grasp what that kind of pain must feel like.

More than anything; however, my heart breaks for those girls.  It just breaks.  I can’t even imagine, and I don’t even have words.  All I can do is sit and hold my kids as tight as I can and love them.  I pray for those girls and their family.  But what do you even pray?

My kids have a half day at school today for conferences.  We have all been fighting colds and feeling crappy so I kept them home with me.  If I’m being honest, though, I just really wanted them to be here today.

I don’t know what happened yesterday for sure.  I know when we came back home about 20 minutes later, the ambulance was pulling out of our neighborhood and taking it’s sweet time.  No one knew that mom’s status when they put her in the back, and I don’t want my little girl to hear that from someone at school just yet.  And I just couldn’t say goodbye to them today.  I realize that makes me sound crazy.  I don’t really care.  Accuse me of smothering my kids too much or of being over-protective or over-bearing or whatever.  I just don’t even care.

If you’re a parent, hug your babies today and just be thankful for whatever it is your family has.  Even if it’s not much or feels broken beyond repair, it’s so much more than we even know sometimes.