“Have You Hugged Your Child Today?”
Woman #1: You’re 26 years old and enjoying the joys of being a new mother. You’ve also had a successful second year of teaching middle school and know that in less than a week you’ll celebrate your first Mother’s Day. Then the principal comes to your classroom to tell you that something has happened to your baby at daycare and he is on the way by ambulance to the hospital. And, in less than an hour, you’ve lost your joy.
Woman #2: You take pride in seeing your three grown children becoming wonderful adults. You now have several grandchildren and couldn’t be more proud. Although some of your kids have moved away, you still talk to them all regularly. It’s a typical Sunday, until you received the call. You middle child, age 32, was killed in a motorcycle accident in California. His wife and four kids are at a loss. So are you.
Woman #3: Your kids are your heart. It’s very rare that people see you without your 2 year old son and 4 year old daughter. You want them to get more involved in activities. Your daughter decides to play t-ball. Her two year old brother loves to go to the games and watch. As she takes a practice swing, he runs up behind her. The bat accidently hits him in the chest and he never recovers. This isn’t the way life was supposed to happen.
Unfortunately, these are all real Louisville mothers who have buried their children this year. It’s hard when you watch these situations on the news, but when you see firsthand the people affected by these tragedies, it takes a major toll. Each of these women personally affected my life and I know they are not the only ones with these experiences. Even though I do not have children of my own, it makes me hope that we will all take time to appreciate our children. So many people assume their children will watch them grow old (and hopefully not put them in a nursing home!). However, we are unfortunately seeing that some of our children will not live to see that day. Whether you have a strong, non-existent, or typical relationship with your children, take some time today to let them know how much you care and how proud you are of them. Children, whether 9 months or 79 years old, can never hear that enough. You’re never too young or old to hear someone say “I LOVE YOU!”
M.Y. July 2008