The stupid fights

The silly arguments

The things we allow to stress us out

The complaining

The discontent

The desire for money

These things mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. In a society where all our basic needs are met, we do a really good job creating “problems” and finding “issues” or reasons to be “offended.”

If you have good health and your family, you have everything!

The most certain thing I can tell you about your life is that painful days are ahead of you! Hard days are coming so enjoy the good times and the good people while you still can.

Even I can read the words I just wrote above and feel like it’s so much easier said than done. But recently the words above slapped me in the face and I don’t ever want to forget the sting of the truth they bring.

A friend of mine recently lost her 2-year-old son suddenly in a tragic accident. My son is actually the same age as her son was and I can’t quite explain how this tragedy has changed me. I mean, I have known OF people who have lost their children, but never someone I respected and looked up to so much and never someone who was pregnant with their child at the same time I was pregnant with mine.

I am left with an overwhelming feeling of so badly wanting to take her pain away but knowing there is literally nothing I can do. I am left with an overwhelming feeling of guilt… guilt that my son is still here to scream, yell, make messes and track dirt all over the house, and hers is not… guilt that I can sleep at night, and she cannot… guilt that I can experience moments of true joy but for her, I know it’s going to take such a huge amount of healing to ever feel like the carefree mother she once was, and perhaps, that will never be possible for her.

I am left wondering why? Why her? Why such an incredibly joy-filled woman? Why the person that lights up a room and makes everyone feel seen and heard when they are in her presence? Why her son? Why such an incredible little boy who literally changed more lives in his short 2 ½ years of life than some of us will ever change in a lifetime? Why, why, why? It’s such a cruel question because there is no answer. There is only right now. There is only this moment. What’s happened has happened and trying to come up with answers can drive a person mad.

My only prayer to God for her and her family is that somehow they find joy and a sense of healing and purpose in their life. I pray that somehow, they will eventually feel a sense of greater purpose for the life their son lived… even though it was so short.

And for myself, I pray, as I said above, that I never forget the sting of the truth this tragedy has brought to my awareness. I have NO IDEA what it must feel like to lose a child and I pray I never have to know that pain. But pain IS coming for my life, and it’s coming for yours. We don’t know what form it will show up in and it does us no good to worry about when it will come.  All we can do is to truly strive to be present. To appreciate all the little things and be so thankful for all we have.

My friend shared a blog from another grieving mother called, “Ten Things I Learned When My Daughter Died.” I know I can’t fully relate to understanding the depth of these lessons on the level they have experienced, but the lesson that stuck out most to me was this:

“THIS DOESN’T MATTER: __________________________
Insert anything here.  Literally anything. Whatever you’re stressing over today, whatever’s depriving you of sleep, making your insides loose, or shortening your words… you could be laughing about all of it in an instant tomorrow, trust me.  


Their breath on the glass.   Their hands on the fridge. Their cries down the hall and their hair in the shower.  Their footsteps on the hardwood. Their spills. Their smells. Their eye rolls. The tops of their heads on your nose.  Their texts and their awful jokes and their fevers at 3 am. Their carpet recitals and their holy sweatpants and their toys in the entryway.  Breathe it in. Rinse and repeat. Forever.”

So this is me… impossibly trying still to make sense of something senseless. And this is me committing to be better by striving to commit to the following things.

Be willing to swallow your pride

Be ready to extend forgiveness

Don’t wait to apologize

Always kiss him/her goodnight

Hug and cuddle your children

Be present in this moment because this moment is all we have.

Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Nichole Mischke
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