I was cruising Facebook while Charlie was in therapy and I spotted a prayer request in a friend’s status. She was asking for prayers for a family that had just lost their three-year-old daughter to cancer.
The announcement was cold water in the face because I recognized the last name instantly. You see, I knew that family, and I knew that they had already lost a daughter. In fact, our children had been in the hospital at the same time–mine had lived and theirs had not. I brought home my Charlie and they planned funeral.
What do you do with a revelation like that?
You search for answers–why? why did this happen? But there really isn’t one. Two children lost to two totally different illness–both of which are just luck of the draw.
You grasp for a reason because if there isn’t a reason–if bad things really do happen to good people–and in this case, over and over–then what does that mean for the rest of us? There’s no protection, no safe guard. We all want to believe that if we’re good people who lead good lives, then we’re safe from the worst. And if the worst has already happened, you like to believe that it’s a little insurance policy: you’ve had your slice of crap, so now it’s somebody else’s turn.
We wrap ourselves in these lies–we hug them tight at night when we sleep. We whisper them to ourselves when we’re scared.
But there it is: nobody’s safe. Nobody’s exempt.
Most days I know this and I accept it, but not this time. This time it shakes me and reminds of things I’d rather not know. This time, it’s real.