“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” – That is Life!! Beauty, health, wealth, friends, relationships, or life are all but permanent. So enjoy and treasure what you have today in a constructive way! This is one of the lessons, life has been teaching over and over again and m0re so in the past few weeks.
With the new school year just started, things just seemed to settle down for my daughter who entered a new school phase and feeling like everything will fall in place. That’s when we got this message over the phone to unsettle things. That’s all it took – a phone call from our close friend, whose daughter’s friendship meant a whole lot to mine. I wished I never read my friend’s text message and wished I never called her back. The voice on the other end very sadly announced their move to a different part of the country, though not across the nation, but definitely not a few minutes drive and enough distance to break my otherwise strong, yet sensitive girl’s heart.
Who knew that in one moment, I would have to deal with silent tears, rising anger, disappointment, regrets? I was trying to handle my own feelings of disappointment and sadness while searching for ways to handle my child’s plight. I was sad for both myself and for my daughter, the empathy more for her over this separation. I let her cry, vent out for sometime, and then needed to apply balm on her wounds. But, no words of mine seemed to help her overcome this. She didn’t want another friend, saying no friend can take the place of this best friend. Yes, everyone is special, no one can take the place of another but I am praying for God to bring her another best friend in her life without replacing the former. His choice will never ever be wrong.
In the meantime, we are learning to enjoy the time left with our friends till their move. I know it is going to be hard for the first couple of days for all of us but I also know that we will not stay down for long. That’s life!!
Fast forward a few days and we were getting to celebrate my son’s birthday – reservations made, evites sent, band practices done, etc. We didn’t want to leave out people who loved my son’s music and so ended up calling more friends. Oh yes, how could we not invite this one neighbor who only relocated from our neighborhood beginning of this year, whom my son loved unconditionally. Boy, our call got her excited as she was pleased that we remembered her and promised to be there to celebrate with us but needed a phone call reminder before the event.
I sent her the evite but some people for whatever reason are not good about RSVPing. It sucks when people don’t respond to emails, phones or don’t RSVP! And this neighbor didn’t even view the evite I sent her! Anyways, my husband being keen on her coming to the party, made calls to her and her husband with no luck. The day of the party came, last minute things to be taken care of but we didn’t forget to give a last reminder call to this neighbor’s husband.
Gosh, the phone call again! I didn’t know what the voice on the other end of the call said, but I could hear my husband saying ‘Oh Man’ repeatedly and saying ‘Stay strong’. I assumed that someone was really, really sick. After disconnecting the call, my husband broke the horrible news that this neighbor is no more, that she passed away just two days before. How can that be, we just spoke to her, she was supposed to be at the party today, the party atmosphere was going to be lively because of her cheering on my son’s band.
My spirit was completely dampened like the gray sky above me – how could I enjoy my son’s party this evening? How can I contain myself and not let my emotions take over and be written large on my face? There’s no way I could tell my kids this just before the celebration. With subdued sadness, I played mom, hostess and friend making sure everything for my son and our guests went perfect. The show went on no matter what I felt but deep down in my heart and mind, I missed this crazy, fun-loving, kind-hearted lady and her lively spirit throughout the evening. The atmosphere was charged with the amazing music, food and friends. It was a beautiful evening and everything went more than well for everyone.
Back home, I waited until the next evening to break the news to my kids – one kid at a time. My daughter was upset at the news, but was not totally devastated as she had an inkling that something was wrong from overhearing my husband’s phone conversation. But, how will my son take this news for he loved this lady’s warmth, liveliness and love? I somehow summed up my courage and broke the news to him. His shocked face and tear- filled eyes were overwhelming and heart-breaking. I am back at the same situation from the first incident of parting with a friend, only this time, it is intense. This parting is not across the borders, nations, or the globe – it is across the universe. But God gave me the right words at the moment which helped my son in some way.
I had never ever imagined how very difficult it would be to deal with others’ emotions until I became a mom. How do you tell your kid that her best friend is moving away and will not be there for her around the corner, how do you tell your children that the person they love and just spoke to a couple of days back is no more? How can you explain to them that this is the way of life? How do you help them get over such heart-wrenching situations? Will not the look on their innocent faces and the pain in their eyes be more than a parent can handle? You wonder why these people ever came into your lives – is it only to part so quickly? Sometimes, we wish we had never known them, then maybe we wouldn’t have had to deal with these sorrows and situations. But I had to explain to myself and my kids that though is this the way of life, we have been blessed with each other’s friendship, love, and support, even if briefly. Some friendships and relationships will still be maintained in spite of physical distance while others will be relived quietly in our hearts time and again.
If there’s a sunrise, there’s a sunset too,
each with its own impact.
If there’s a day, there’s a night too,
each with its own promise.
If there’s a Hello, there’s a Goodbye too,
each with its own lesson!!