The last half of this week has been a rough one but it looks like things have evened out. Enough time has past to where I can write about it without raw emotion taking over, which is always a good thing.
Wednesday night at 11 pm, our phone rang. Now let me preface this by saying that our family, both nuclear and extended, have a universal rule about calling hours being 9 to 9 unless something is wrong. It doesn't matter what member of my family you call, the phone will be answered with a very concerned "What's wrong" instead the joyful "Hello" if it's outside these hours. This was clearly past hours and I answered accordingly.
The tiniest of voices responded to my inquiry with a question of her own - did I get her Skype message. I had to tell her no because I wasn't working that night so I wasn't in the office at my computer. That's when she told me the news that would break my heart for several reason... that is when she told me that her roommate's mother was found dead a few hours ago.
I won't go into the details because they point in a direction that I'm not sure this poor child has followed to yet. I doubt she reads her roommate's mother's blog but you never know and it's best to just not go there. I'll simply say it was a selfish act and that if I could, I would bring her back and scream at her for it even though we were not friends. I would scream at her for the state she has left my child in, not to mention her own children. I would scream at her to remind her that nothing lasts forever and things will always get better if you just give it time.
My poor baby, who is on the other side of the state and I can't wrap my arms around, dissolved into a puddle. Partly for her friend that she's known since they were sophomores in high school and partly because the horrify thought that your parents honestly might not live forever has now become a garish reality. Through heavy waves of tears, my darling girl confessed that she never wanted me to leave her. She made me promise that her father and I were healthy and would be around as long as we could, no matter what... which I did, repeatedly and with as much conviction as I could so she knew that regardless of anything that happens in this world, we will always be here for her.
We were on the phone until well past midnight that night. The conversation wandered around and back again as she worked her way through processing the events of the day. We talked about school and art and dreams of the future. We talked about the past and the harsh reality of the day. She wanted to know that I will always be there and I wanted to show her that I would. She has always known it but some days, it just helps to exercise it out once and a while. I was going to be on that phone for as long as she needed me to be, even if it was to just sit and be quiet with her.
That night I told her that if she wanted to come home, her father and I would make it happen but she refused because she had classes the next day. She had a world and life that required her to be a part of it. I was so proud of her decision too. I slept with the phone so that in case she had a rough night, she could call and I would be able to get to the phone quickly. I walked around all day the next day with the phone with me, and she did call me. She called me about five times that day, just to know I was there. Once was to give me an update on events regarding her roommate and what she was able to do for her at the school. Once to debate the pros and cons of walking all the way to the craft store, once to walk with her to get lunch, and once to actually walk to the craft store. She even called later on that night to talk to her daddy and give him the latest update on events, both of the sad and cheerful variety.
I know that my daughter is built of some strong stuff but this week, even during the moments that still bring to me to tears when I think about them, she has shown me what a kind, compassionate, and precious woman she has become. Though my heart breaks every time I think of her being so sad, scared, and alone, I can't help but be a little proud at how she pulled herself up, squared her shoulders, and soldiered on. Facing her first encounter with the passing of someone, she handled it with grace and I now know that there is nothing in this world that she won't be able to overcome.
Life is precious.... it's fragile... it's scary... but it is also wonderful, if you simply allow it to be. Nothing is so terrible that it will last forever. You can overcome any obstacle if you simply believe in yourself, in others, and in a higher power to help you through. He would not lead you to it if He wasn't also going to lead you through it. Hug your loved ones today and remind them that you will always be there for them, no matter what. They may giggle and say "I know" and that's fine but dollar to donut, they'll feel better just hearing it out loud.