Monday, May 07, 2012
When I was in the sixth grade, my best friend, Becky, was killed by a car as she walked home from a piano lesson. It was really just one of those freak accidents- the sun at just the wrong angle, the car just slightly over the line, the driver blinded by the sun. And, my precious friend, Becky, with her trademark hot pink Converse high tops, was gone.
It has been a strange year for me because our oldest son, Sam, is in the sixth grade. It is difficult to think about what Becky's parents went through, losing their sixth grader.
As I do most years around the anniversary of her death, I wrote Becky's parents a letter. I sent them a picture of our family and wrote, like I usually do, how I still think about her. How I wonder if we would still be friends. How I wonder what she would be doing, where she would be living, how many phd's she would have because she was so brilliant.
And, as I do most years, I received a letter back.
"Your family photo is on our mantle."
"Thank you for remembering."
"Cherish every moment."
And, for some reason, this year, it hits home. Really hits home.
I am grocery shopping with the kids. Sam and Silas inform me they need new deodorant. (I don't think Silas really needs it yet, but I suppose it's a good habit to be in, so I don't argue.) We find the deodorant aisle.
I am in a hurry. There are places we need to go, appointments we need to be on time for.
But, the boys are very concerned with the smell of their deodorant. We continue to spend a good fifteen minutes in the deodorant aisle. They sniff every. single. brand. Every. single. scent.
"This one isn't manly enough," they muse.
"This one smells weird."
"This one smells kind of girly."
And, usually, I would rush them. I would say, "Nobody really CARES what the heck your deodorant smells like!!!! Let's move it."
But, a picture of Becky flashes. I hear her giggle and, in some really strange way, it becomes entangled with the voices of my indecisive boys.
I watch as bigger boys walk by, smirking at my oblivious boys who are much more caught up in smelling good than being cool. I wonder how long this sweet innocence will last. I marvel at how big they both are and every time I blink my eyes, they seem a bit bigger. I savor the teasing back and forth as they say things like, "I bet (insert random girls' name here) would like that smell," and, "Mom, would you like it if Dad smelled like this?" I want to take a picture, but decide I will keep this image to myself.
I take the advise of Becky's mama and I cherish this moment.