I write today more for me than for you.
My heart is heavy with sadness. In the last year, I have known three families who had a child die. Most recently, a beautiful, smart, sweet, funny, and courageous little boy ended his battle with cancer. It is a grief that is unimaginable to me. I weep for them but I am just a bystander. I am not in their position. Knowing this, I hugged my children more often yesterday. Tighter. Longer. I kept grasping their little fingers and pudgy hands in my own hands. Smelling their hair. Obsessing over them because I can. Crying because someone else no longer can.
I am angry for them. I am sad for them.
I am at a loss.
These were deaths that were not preventable. They weren’t anyone’s fault. Truly, there-but-for-the-grace-of-God situations.
You cannot protect your children from everything. Bad things happen. It sucks. It makes no sense. I get it. I hate it, but I get it.
Some things cannot be prevented. But we do our best with what we have. We brush their teeth to prevent cavities. We wash their hands to prevent illness. We teach them kindness and respect to prevent them from the hurt that comes with becoming the kid no one likes. We feed them healthy, wholesome food. And, of course, we vaccinate them to prevent them from becoming sick — really, really sick — from diseases that are preventable.
Everyone may not agree with me on vaccines. But I imagine we can all agree that the death of a child is something no one should have to face. And maybe I harp on vaccines because it is one very simple thing you and I can do to prevent something bad from happening to our kids. Its like sending them into the world with a little invisible bubble wrap hugging them tightly, protecting them. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s pretty good insurance.
And I’ll take it. I hope you will too.