Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Somebody Else's Story

So the Matron can't really tell it.

But that story and hers intertwined a bit and that's where she'll take you. Today, the Matron woke up, punk. The camper? Not happy. She was a bit blue and sort of saw Discouragement around every corner.

She knew what was weighing on her but didn't know how bad until 3:04 in the parking lot at Cub Foods when she a two-year old girl tottering, unmonitored, across the parking lot.

Monitor! The Matron spotted a frantic mother, looking.

And as that child gleefully toddled farther into the parking lot, a parked gray minivan about three feet in front of her fired the engine. The brake lights lit up. The child was DIRECTLY behind that van when the wheels started turning.

And of course, being two, once the van started back out directly into her, the little girl stood still and watched the pretty car go. Instead of continuing to toddle.

Now, you hear people say that you don't think - just act in a flash? Friends, the Matron is here to tell you -that's true! Because she her very fine self SCREAMED and without thinking also ran directly behind the slowwwly moving van so she could stop the vehicle by sheer will or make off with the child. There was no real plan. She just moved.

Boom! In the same instant--the mother and the Matron collided together into that child, and as the mother scooped up her baby and both women turned on a heel to get out of harm's way, the van STOPPED with a terrible jerk.

An elderly man scrambled out, in terror: "Did I hurt anybody?" The Matron thanks Buddha-God-Allah-Oprah that the driver was not a 16 year old in a hurry.

Now, it's logical that the mother of the two-year old should be all shook up and weepy (this child was ONE INCH from death). And she was. She wrapped her arms around her and cried, saying: "Lord, have Mercy!" She hugged the Matron and couldn't stop saying, 'thank you,' even though she was the one who did the actual saving.

But it was the Matron who burst into tears and dissolved into a seamless flat-out-mess. She hugged that mama right back and high-tailed it to the semi-privacy of her own minivan to refill the Red Sea with salt and tear.

Because that near-miss popped the bubble on the grief she'd been carrying all day. The college-age son of one of John's coworkers killed himself on Friday. The Matron has attended many social events with the mother and father. She went to a party at their house. Whenever there was a mandatory Work Torture Event, the Matron sought out this couple for their wit and kindred spirit. She never met their son. She never saw them outside of those strange work/social situations. But she knows how they loved him. They talked about him all the time, with just the right degree of awe and exasperation.

He was their only child.

The memorial service was today. There are always, of course, details and more to the story, but this story, is theirs.

Life, life, life, life! How incredibly precarious. And so today the Matron cried for that mother who lost her son and for all of mothers, who have so much to lose. That's the wicked beauty of love, isn't it?

23 comments:

Ree said...

Oh Mary. My heart just broke for those parents.

smalltownmom said...

So sad.

Daisy said...

Hugs to you -- and to the grieving parents. How terribly sad.

justhay said...

I cried a little here. Just two days ago that was MY toddler, and a near miss that made me scream and shake and cry and MY heart that is still pounding.

Yes, precious life. Terrible, terrible news. So sorry Matron and families.

Heather said...

It can all change so quickly.

JessTrev said...

So, so sad. I am grieving for the loss of our dog (may Satan's Familiar live to be 99) and so am keenly aware of just how horrid it will be to one day lose my immediate family. My heart to that family.

phd in yogurtry said...

I'm not sure there's a bigger cross to bear than the suicide of a child, let alone an only child. I hope Buddha-God-Allah-Oprah will give those grieving parents strength.

(On a gleeful note, I -love your godley-crue of spiritual inspiration)

distracted by shiny objects said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Matron, and I say your loss even though you'd not met your friends' son. I think when these losses occur on the periphery of our lives it can shake us to our core. We realize how random this cosmic game of musical chairs can be. So very sorry for your sadness.

Professor J said...

How sweet and sad.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

That mother of the toddler is going to need Valium to sleep tonight. Else she'll keep seeing what might have happened flash before her eyes over and over and over...

Sandie said...

What a moving post. Everything just rolls along and boom, it all hits you at once.

How heartbreaking for the family of that boy. If only knowing he was loved could have helped him.

Jennifer H said...

So frightening, so heartbreaking. My heart goes out to those parents.

The Boisterous Butterfly said...

My son almost died twice in car accidents. Then he really died of cancer. Was it fate? Loosing a child to suicide is far worse. Bless those parents.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a terrible thing to happen. I'm so sorry.

Mary Alice said...

Oh God. All of that popped my bubble too. Now I am crying and sending some strength up for the universe to carry to those grieving parents.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh dear. That's terrible.

witchypoo said...

You are a good friend with a warm heart, Matron. I feel so sorry for those parents. I know you have the grace to allow them to talk about their son in future encounters.

Lynda said...

What an emotional post - about the 2 year old AND the son. Thank you for sharing this.

kmkat said...

Wicked beauty it is, indeed. One of the great realizations of my first pregnancy was that I was no longer exempt from the risk on great loss. That was a sobering moment, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Optimist said...

Mama and Baby. It never really changes - no matter how old the baby is.

Beautiful post. Thanks -

xox

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I am sorry Matron.

JCK said...

I'm so, so sorry.

Swistle said...

Oh no. Oh how sad.