Life After Tragedy
©copyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012
It was never a choice.
I remember the night I received that phone call and hearing his voice tell me that, "she didn't make it." I can recall a terrorizing rage and then time just stopped. My life began again about three days later. It's twenty three years ago and I can recall it as though it was yesterday. That year there were seven kids who had parents die. It was as though a virus had attacked our high school. Just a week before my mother was killed I stood sadly in the lunch line staring at a girl whose father was tragically killed in a construction accident and as I watched her I remember thinking that it seemed as though she had become an outcast. She was somewhere else that the rest of us would never be. And then suddenly I was there too.
The worst part of tragically losing my mother at such a young age was that there wasn't a single person who looked me in the eye and told me that everything would be okay. I needed that, desperately. I needed someone who wasn't on "my side of the fence" to let me know that I could still experience some sense of normalcy even though this horrible event had happened but nothing ever came. Make it a habit to let your children know during the worst times that things will always get better. Being a teenager is tough. Being a teenager who experiences a tragedy is probably the strongest test of will and faith. No one asks for their path but it's the one God gave us. Although the fence may not be real to you, it's very real to those of us who live with it every day. It becomes more slight with time and even dissipates now and then. But at certain times it will rear it's walls to remind us of the separation between believing you will always be okay and believing that you will always have to fear late phone calls, people who have something to tell you with a very serious look on their face, allowing your children to live normal lives because a third phone call would surely put you into an asylum somewhere.
Final thought: It's okay to hurt and feel sadness when bad things happen. It's okay to have bad days and recognize that the world isn't always as wonderful as we want and hope it will be. But you must get up off your knees, look up into life and fight to be faster, higher, stronger. You cannot give-up even on your worst or saddest day. Those are the days when God is trying to tell you that you are tough, that there is more out there for you and your calling is still waiting. Keep searching.