MBA Mama Series {Gratitude & Hugging Tightly}

I am going to tell you a tough story, a tragic one. My intention is not to be morbid and depressing but to shed some light on the greatness in our lives. I wasn’t actually planning on writing a post tonight. I have a lot on my mind, though, and writing seems to be a reasonable way of processing the information. There was an accident in my town. Two degrees of separation for me {a good friend is suffering}. Yet I can’t stop thinking about it, like taking my breath away thinking about it.

Here was the situation: A Mom and Dad to two young children ages 5 and 7 are gearing up for a weekend away without their kids for the first time since both kids were born. The Dad’s parents flew in from California to make it happen. The Dad, his parents and his two young children go out Thursday afternoon for who knows what (groceries? dinner? ice cream?) and stop at an intersection (that my two boys and I had just stopped at two hours previously). A fight on the sidewalk ensues between two men. One has a gun. He shoots it. The bullet misses the intended target. Instead it comes through the window and kills the driver, the Dad, instantly. His parents are in the car. His kids are in the car. He dies in his father’s arms in front of his two young children.

It could have been any of us.

I can’t stop thinking about those moments right before and right after. I can’t stop thinking about the Dad’s children watching him die as he lay in his own father’s arm. I can’t top thinking about the kids, so young, running to a local restaurant for help. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that the Mom and Dad were supposed to be enjoying this ridiculously beautiful long weekend away. I can’t stop thinking about the Mom when she is reunited with her children after this experience. I can’t stop thinking about the family in their home without the Dad. I can’t stop thinking about what the family is doing right now.

I don’t even know this family but I feel an incredible pull to do something for them. As many of you know from previous posts I lost a parent at a very young age. So I wonder about these children. I hope for them. Yes, they will be make “it” but the next years will be difficult. The grief. The anger. It will feel suffocating at times. None of it makes sense. I can’t even begin to imagine the journey this family has just begun…

So I am desperately trying to find a positive spin on this situation. The positive spin in theory is simple but much harder to live: Finding gratitude in every day life. Finding appreciation for those people who share your life. Finding peace with the “struggles” of every day life no matter if you stay home with your kids, work part time or work full time. We all have struggles and tough days when we lose perspective on what really matters. We may have tough days but we have each other. We may have tough days as parents but our children are with us, are happy and we are healthy. We may have tough days as parents but tragedy has yet to fall on our family.

I am so grateful. So very grateful. Frustrated though that too often snapping back into a space of gratitude takes heartache and pain.

So go hug your spouse. Go hug your kids. Tightly. Hold them for a long while. Stop being mad because they flung raisins onto the kitchen floor or painted their bodies instead of paper. Stop being annoyed because the house is a mess. It is going to be okay.

Thanks for reading…


  1. says

    What an amazing post! Making me go to mine right now and add this as a link. My post for tomorrow was about not sweating the small stuff and about turning moments of potential frustration into something to cherish — your post makes this seem all the more important and relevant. What a tragic event. What a road this family has ahead of them. Thank you so much for writing and sharing – these words we all need to hear.

  2. says

    Last Friday there was a shooting at a local elementary school that left a mother dead in the parking lot. I was feeling the same way you were: I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. The tragedy is so overwhelming. I think the only way we can think of it (besides, of course, prayers for the family) is to appreciate all that we do have. Hug our spouses and children. Live each day with meaning.

    I think so many of us get bogged down in trying to make everything perfect that we don’t realize how perfect our life already is.
    Sarah at glimmersnaps recently posted…Beach Trip Follow-upMy Profile

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