Picture1It’s dark-thirty in the morning.  The alarm goes off.  It’s time to start the daily grind.  I go into the bathroom, turn the faucet on, wet my toothbrush, spread some toothpaste on it and start brushing.  I look up into the mirror.  I look tired.  I stare at the three white hairs that have started to grow along the part in my hair.  All is quiet.  Everyone is still sound asleep.

I start to wonder…what would be different if I were not here?  It makes me sad to start thinking of not being around my girls and my husband.  No more morning hellos with sleepy eyes peeking out from under disheveled bed head hair.  No more bedtime stories and good-night snuggles.  No more gentle kisses on warm sleeping heads as I watch my girls sleep before going to bed.

I get teary and have to stop thinking.  I am thankful for this day.  I will enjoy the day, be present in moments when I am interacting with those I care about, and at the end, reflect on the good things that have happened.

Why?  Because life is fragile.  We take it for granted.  And the truth is we just never know when a lifetime will be cut short.

In September and October of 2012, two amazing women in my life passed on.  Both daughters, sisters…and mothers.  Beautiful, vibrant, full of positive energy, kind, warm, passionate.  Both had such zest for life.

The first was one of my aunties.  She was a dear friend and a mentor.  I knew it was going to happen, just not when.  Pancreatic cancer is cruel.  I never got to say good-bye.  She shielded me from the truth so that I would not know the end was so near.  It saddened me so because she was the kind of person who still had so much to give to so many.

The second happened in an instant…and really hit home.  A tragic car accident because a young man was texting on his cell phone while he was driving.  His truck hit would have hit her car head-on.  She swerved towards the shoulder of the road to avoid him and he hit the driver’s side of her car.  She and her teenage daughter, sitting behind her, died at the scene of the accident.  Her five-year old son, sitting on the passenger side in the back seat, survived the crash.  She was about my age.  And now her little boy, right in between the age of my two girls, is motherless.  I wonder what memory he will have of that day?

Life can be so cruel and so unfair.

Both are tragic losses because these women were so amazing and were always giving of themselves to help everyone around them.  Their legacy will live on and makes me strive to be a better person.  My heart still aches when a reminder of either one of them crosses my path…the last place we were together, the smell of lavender, a certain restaurant where we ate together, finding an old note in their handwriting.  I am still healing, but in a conscience way.  I am more aware of my actions and my words.

Last weekend my family and I were visiting a park north of Seattle.  I saw a rainbow when we first got to the park.  After our stay, as we were heading back to our car, we saw two bald eagles flying side-by-side. A Native American friend once told me that when you see bald eagles flying overheard, those are your loved ones and ancestors watching over you.  I thought of both of my dear friends.  I have felt their presence around me since their deaths.  Both the rainbow and the eagles were untouchable by me, but beautiful, just like them.  This put a smile on my face and put me at ease.  I felt it was their way of telling me they are okay and watching down over those they left behind.

How have you dealt with the death of a close friend?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Eva Fannon dedicated to SF and II.  Eva can be found on Twitter @evafannon.

Photo credit to Bill McChesney.  This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

Eva Fannon (USA)

Eva Fannon is a working mom who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her hubby and two girls. She was born and raised on the east coast and followed her husband out west when he got a job offer that he couldn't refuse. Eva has always been a planner, so it took her a while to accept that no matter how much you plan and prepare, being a mom means a new and different state of "normal". Despite the craziness on most weekday mornings (getting a family of four out the door in time for work and school is no easy task!), she wouldn't trade being a mother for anything in the world. She and her husband are working on introducing the girls to the things they love - travel, the great outdoors, and enjoying time with family and friends. Eva can be found on Twitter @evafannon.

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