‘Tis the Season 2


This morning I was baking Christmas cookies. Not as a fun, holiday activity, but as a pressured hostess gift job. I was attending a holiday luncheon later at a friend’s house and wanted to bring some homemade cookies as part of my hostess gift. So I got up early and started the “job” before I took my shower.

I’m happiest when I’m busy doing something—almost anything—so my mood, as well as my attitude, picked up as I worked. I had one batch of about three dozen cookies cooling on some waxed paper when I began my next recipe. I was even multi-tasking successfully! I spun around to get an ingredient, or put something away, when an ugly thought hit me out of the blue.

This is probably what one of the mothers in Newtown was doing when she got the phone call.

Because that’s how Life happens. You’re baking cookies, or arranging a large supply of flowers into individual bouquets for teachers and ballerinas, or (fill in the blank). A devastating phone call shatters your day and your whole life changes forever.

I went to the luncheon—with my hostess gift—and had a good time. Because I’m well into my new life now and I can do that. But the thoughts keep niggling at me:  what is that mother doing now? Did she throw out the cookie dough? Or did she preserve it as a forever reminder of when her own life stopped and she began the one where she puts one foot ahead of the other? A bucket of flowers is easier to preserve. The bucket can stay in the exact same spot in the garage where it was when the phone call came. But cookie dough?

Her days right now are filled with arrangements and calling hours and friends and relatives phoning, bringing casseroles, and memorial services. But her nights! Oh, her nights. Reliving like a repetitive ticker tape the phone call, the terrifying trip to the school, the unspeakable horror of realizing her child isn’t at the firehouse, and that awful, AWFUL moment of seeing her child in the early (hopefully) stages of rigor.

Morning will come for her and that brings tomorrow. Her other children need her and that makes her strong. This new life is not the one she planned on nor the one she wanted, but she begins the climb.

She begins the climb because that’s the only thing she can do.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Deb DiNatale
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 12:06:02

    A haunting question.. One that each mother and father will answer differently.

    Reply

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