Friday, May 12, 2006

my prayers are with jessica

tomorrow julie is going on an all-day bike ride. she usually bikes for a week or more in the summer, but this year we're going on a big vacation with her family, so instead she's just doing a day-long ride in new jersey. now, normally, this wouldn't even phase me; we generally try to support one another in our extra-curricular activities, and biking is one of julie's passions. she rode across iowa when micah was about two months old, leaving me with a six year old, a teeny little preemie, and no car for almost two weeks, and i barely complained, apart for some good-natured ribbing (which continues to this day). so a day-long ride should be no big deal. but micah has been, well, quite challenging these days, especially the past few, and this being the end-of-the-year countdown when everything generally seems to be spiraling out of control, and having been really sick for more than a month with non-stop allergies, well, i've been feeling a bit sorry for myself that she isn't going to give me the saturday break that i have become accustomed to.

tonight i even made her take us out to eat, because i couldn't bear to cook, and then clean the kitchen that seems to be perpetually dirty despite the fact that i seem to be always cleaning it... we went to our favorite cuban/columbian restaurant, and i drank more than my share of the pitcher of sangria (julie was driving, so i felt it was my duty to keep several drinks ahead of her).

and basically the whole evening, i have been giving her a hard time -- mostly all in fun, but you know, with a little edge to it -- for leaving tomorrow in the wee hours with a couple of cool chick friends to go biking in new jersey, while i will be home, alone, yet another day like every other day, with the kids.

when we got home from tierra columbiana, i quickly checked my email and favorite blogs. and found this. and then i went back and read this. and this. and, well, all of it is just, well, i guess there just aren't words. i read with tears streaming down my face. talk about putting things in perspective...

when i came back downstairs, julie was playing music from godspell, and micah was dressed in his tiger costume, sitting beside her on the bench, playing along. trixie and her friend, who is spending the night, were upstairs playing dress-up and narrating tales like the beautiful, bookish girls they are. the neighborhood children, who will be up until midnight tonight, were outside jumping double dutch and playing pitch and catch and making a racket that usually drives me crazy. and you know how sometimes, all-too-rarely, you seem to be viewing the world through a filter like they use in the movies, to make the light just so, and all the colors pop out? and you watch your world unfold like a movie, with the soundtrack of your life playing over the top, while people laugh and talk and get on about their business, but you can't really hear them, because the music is playing over the top of it all? do you know what i mean? it was like that for a few moments.

i wish i could hold on, moment by moment, to how exquisitely beautiful and precious life is. it's so easy to lose perspective.

and i'm accutely aware that jessica's life and death wasn't about making me appreciate my life more... it feels so small to be focusing on that. but what her life meant, to the extent that those of us who didn't really know her can know it at all, was written in her own words -- eloquently, hopefully, heartbreakingly -- in her own blog, cancer, baby. if you haven't already, go read it now.

my heart just breaks that she never got to have the experience of motherhood. i hope that the bliss and contentment and good fortune i feel in loving my kids is only a shadow of the peace and joy her soul knows now.


At May 12, 2006 9:25 PM, Blogger susan said...

Cancer, baby is a heartbreakingly beautiful blog, and like you, I'm just stunned at how sad I feel. Life is so unfair sometimes.


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