1. The daughter-in-law of a friend at work recently miscarried a few weeks into her second trimester.
2. One of Brian's band parents died unexpectedly this morning. This parent was one of the first super-supportive ones. He was a musician, he got music, you know? He understood how much Brian was challenging the kids. It was such a happy experience when we met him, together, out in the parking lot. I remember it pretty clearly because afterwards we just looked at each other like "WOW. There is hope here. This can be built up to a great program." And I really think it started that evening, with knowing that there was at least one person 150% on our side.
What I spent most of my day thinking about, and preoccupied by, was his family. His son is one of the field commanders in the band--the leader. He's about to start his senior year of high school in two days. I thought about all the dreams and hopes and plans his dad had for him that are just gone. And about the plans and dreams and hopes he had for his own life with his wife. Those just don't exist anymore. They are gone from the universe forever and will never have a chance to play themselves out. I had such a sense of finality and heavy, heavy sadness.
It also made me that much more determined to do whatever I can to create free time in my life to spend as much time as possible with Brian and the friends and family I love. I will not be consumed by expectations of how much I should be working or what kind of job, or even how much money one needs to be really happy. (From my perspective it's really only "How much less student loans.") You just really have no idea when it will be your time. I'm beginning to wrap my brain more and more around the idea that every single day is super special, and should be treated that way. I'm trying really hard not to be upset by petty things, or let negativity in any form take away from the gift of another day in my extremely blessed, lucky, happy life.
So I had to go shopping today for sympathy stamps, because I really only have one or two that might remotely qualify, and they're more on the "make you smile side." Not the caliber of emotion I'm looking to convey. It was hard. I kept thinking about how the potential cards would make me feel if I received them; quite a sad experience. I've never had such an emotional craft supply shopping trip. I feel lucky that I haven't really had the need to buy these kinds of stamps until now. I've been trying to feel the appropriate amount of grateful for that all day. I hope you're not having a sympathy-stamp worthy kind of day today.
Here's the card I ended up making for both situations. I just liked it so much I decided to use it for both. I also bought a stamp that says "Mere words cannot express the Hurt my Heart feels for You in your time of Loss." I love it. It is just so darn sincere--and that's something that can be hard to find in a generic "Hallmark card." Also, I'm not sure if you're able to see it in this picture, but I got a glitter pen tonight and it's awesome, and way overdo. I colored in the punched out "stars" with it and outlined the words "stars" and "shines" to give it an extra "something."