Saturday, May 12, 2012

Forget Me Not

What a strange week it's been. It began with a very sad event. Very early Monday morning, the mother of my best friend died.

Then on Tuesday, a bus from my daughters' school was involved in a terrible accident. The 22-year-old car driver, who hit the bus head-on, died on impact. The school bus ended up in the ditch. It was not my daughters' bus, but one of Chloé's best friends was on it as well as many class- and schoolmates. Thankfully there were only minor injuries among the teenagers, but the moments of the accident were terrifying for them and afterwards they were subject to a gruesome accident scene that had more in common with a war-torn country than the quiet suburbs where we live. In the moments after impact, the teenagers on the bus and passersby reacted with speed and courage. Police and ambulances arrived quickly. Chloé's friend called her within minutes of arriving home to share what she had just lived through.

So it has been a week full of emails and phone calls, tears and hugs. Reminders of the fragility of life yet also the strength of friendship and the importance of family. Fear and courage. Sadness and comfort. And even smiles and laughter.

Yesterday was the funeral of my friend's mother and, oddly, that helped the week to end well. Chloé decided to come with me, as my friend is like family to us. Emma would have come if she hadn't had two tests that day.

My friend is the youngest of six children and they prepared a service that was touching and beautiful for their mother. I had only met her once. They told the story of a feisty 90-year-old woman who led a full and interesting life yet had some regrets. They spoke of her love of music, nature and her family. They also talked of characteristics that were sometimes hard for the family. As I sat there absorbing the words, I thought this is a real person they are talking about.  There was a bagpipe that played at the beginning and end of the service and a beautiful soloist who sang uplifting songs. It was so moving to be a part of this poignant, honest service. There was sadness in the church but also so much love. I kept thinking about it even hours later.

After the funeral and reception, it seemed too late for Chloé to go back to school, so we went for a walk with Meeko instead.

The sun was shining. There were beautiful green leaves, flowers and butterflies. We took photos. We got down on our knees so that we could see the wild strawberry blossoms and wood violets better. We picked forget-me-nots.  There were Red Admiral butterflies everywhere. One of them kept circling back to Chloé. Maybe there have been other days when we've walked and seen flowers and butterflies, but yesterday everything seemed more beautiful.

The flower photos were taken by me; all of the rest of the beautiful photos were taken by Chloé.

6 comments:

  1. Such beautiful photos, Kathleen. (and Chloé !) So much sadness too, I'm sorry for your friend's loss, and for the passing of this young adult. :(
    Yes life is fragile, I had myself this "revelation" last October when my dad passed away. We must hang to what matters the most to us, and to who means the most in our lives. And each day must be savored, the good ones & the bad ones. For even the bad ones mean that we are alive.
    Sending you warm hugs & sweet thoughts, Kathleen. xoxo

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    1. Sad events definitely do provide perspective. You are right that every kind of day needs to be cherished. A big hug to you for everything you have lived through in past months. xx

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  2. It is such a fine line between life and death, you can be there laughing one minute and gone the next, as was the case with my brother last year and his son 2 years to the day previously. My husbands stepfather passed away this week too. We need to stop and think each day of the day we have been given and try to make the most of it, even if it's only in moments like your photos show (lovely by the way).

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    1. I am sorry for your husband's loss and for the loss of your brother and nephew, Julie. The moments count for sure. xx

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  3. Beautiful post, life sure can be turned upside down in a sec and we should embrace it when we can.

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    1. Your word 'embrace' is perfect, Tina.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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