It all could change

I woke up this morning to read the obituary of my childhood neighbor and friend. He was only 37, which is what I will be the next week. His family moved into the house in front of my parents when we were in second grade. His parents were having a house built just through the woods and we continued to play together after they moved. As most kids do, we grew up and grew apart but our families were still neighbors and have remained that way even now.
In high school, Brad was varsity everything. I had changed schools and lost track of most of the people in my old school. I did start reading in the paper that he had testicular cancer and remained on the varsity team. Again, over time I lost track. I signed up for Facebook about 3 years ago where I found someone posting pics of him. I found out that as an adult, he had a child and was working in town. I still never heard more than that. Til this morning.
As I am reading his obituary, my 2-year-old is sitting in my lap, sucking her thumb and nuzzling her blankie. My 3-year-old is curled up on my other side, giving me a flower that she had found. My heart starts breaking even more. I look at my babies that I do get so frustrated and tired with and think that Brad had sat in his mom’s lap once too. Maybe sucking his thumb or with his favorite blanket, just like mine are now. My 2-year-old looks at me and I kiss her cheek. She smiles so sweetly. My 3-year-old gives me her very last flower she has picked. I tell her to keep it, it’s her last one and she said she wants me to have it cause she picked it for me. My heart is swollen with love. I love these moments. I forget to appreciate them. I forget way too much. At anytime, this could all change. I hope I never see the loss of a child but I know life isn’t fair either.
Maybe one’s loss is another’s gain. I’m reminded to cherish every moment. I love my family and never want to take them for granted. Even though that is so easy to do in the hustle and bustle of life.
To the Trotter family, I send my condolences. To my family, I love you with all my heart, soul and life.


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