Yesterday I had a newcomer to storytime. His name was Jacob and he'll be one at the end of this month. This is super important to the story of my day. It's the catalyst of all my thoughts and emotions. His older brother used to come to storytime. (He's now 6.) Jacob came into the room with his grandma and his grandma said I might remember his brother when he came with his mom. She mentioned their names and it all clicked - probably partially due to the fact that Jacob resembles his older brother a lot.
And then she told me the news. How last April, the boys lost their mom due to a pulmonary embolism. I don't know this family other than them coming into the library from time to time. And they haven't been in on a regular basis for quite some time (even before the tragedy.) Life gets busy and other things take priority. But I had no clue that these boys' mother had passed away. She was 31. Jacob won't remember her. His brother will, at best, have snapshots of memories in his mind.
All day long I kept thinking about them. About her, their mom. And how she's missing out on seeing all the wonderful, and not-so-wonderful, things her kids are going to do in their life. How she's not going to see so many firsts, so many smiles, so many tears. She's going to miss out on the laughter of life and the snuggly hugs and kisses and all the silly moments.And those boys. They are going to miss out mommy hugs, kisses, snuggles, advice, tears of happiness, tears of frustration, fun times, not-so-fun times...
Needless to say I was a bit emotionally exhausted at the end of the day. I just wanted to go home and relish in the fact that I'm still here. Yes, bills are due. Yes, school is happening. Yes, work is demanding. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I get frustrated. But I'm here. I get to hear "MOOMMMYYY!" when I go to pick up Zoe-bug from the sitter. I get to go hunt down Eli at the Boys and Girl's Club and make him upset that he doesn't get his turn on the X-box. I get to deal with first grade frustration from a boy because I "don't do homework like Daddy." I still get to pour that glass of wine while he's wailing in his room because I tried doing homework in the wrong order. I still get to be told by Zoe that "Mommy, you're yelling." Yes. Those types of moments can suck. And suck the life out of you. But I still have them. I also still get the night time story reading, the hugs and kisses, and the "I'm sorry we couldn't get along earlier" moments (for real, that was a sincere apology from Eli at bedtime).
I'm still here. They're still here. Good. Bad. All the in-betweens.