Thursday, July 7, 2011
Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, Princess Penelope came into my room. One look at her face and I knew something was terribly wrong. Penelope had just found out that a child (and I say child, because at 17 they are still children), that sat beside her in history class last year had taken his own life. I sat there stunned, horrified, and then I gathered my only child in my arms and held her while she cried. I didn't personally know this child. I'd heard about him, because he definitely made an impact in her history class. Some positive, some negative, some disruptive. I knew his home life was bad and I knew that he tended to act very differently from other kids based on what she had told me. Princess Penelope and I had talked about it before, mainly after different times she'd told me about the latest disruption. We always talked about being kind, even when its not easy, because you never really know the load someone else has to bear.
We cried and talked and talked and cried. We talked about how there is nothing in this world that is so difficult that another sunrise doesn't bring some hope for improvement. The "what-ifs" are definitely setting in and the wondering if she could have said something that would have made a difference. I think after talking it all out, she knows that she did in fact treat him kindly, even when it wasn't always easy. I'm proud of her for talking to me about the problems in class with this child instead of just doing the typical teenage thing. I'm proud of her for wishing that maybe she'd had a magic word or something that could have changed things.
And this morning, watching the sunrise, I'm grieving. For the loss of a child I never knew. For the loss of hope. For that life potential unfufilled. For that loss of innocence in my own child as she realizes that for some hopelessness is a way of life. And as the sun inches higher in the morning sky, I'm so very grateful that my own child is finally sleeping in her own bed. That like the sunrise, she will again wake up to another day.