HIGHS AND LOWS

 February 4th, 2011 by Mary Beth Evans

The last month has brought many highs and several lows. Some that are hard to wrap my head around. On the high, my kids were all home for about a month and now that they are adults or close to, we can really enjoy the “people” they have become. We had numerous meals out, laughing and sharing stories…such a delight. Our two older children were just happy to hang out with us, which was very sweet. My oldest son, at 23 now, says he can’t even fathom what all his conflicts were when he was in high school…thankfully neither can we (almost). It was a very gratifying time as a parent.

During this happy, “high” time with my own family, we experienced some very trying, “low” times with some friends. My close friend’s husband had surgery and we did as much as we could for him, visiting him often, bringing him food, etc. Watching my friend worry so much was difficult for me and I tried to offer anything I could, even just driving her around to do her errands. Anything to make it easier for her to deal with the stress.

While he was in the hospital some very close friends lost their 19 year old daughter suddenly. It rocked our entire town. I still cannot quite wrap my head around it. The minute I heard I ran to their house with homemade soup and hugged them so tightly. The next day when I knew all their family was coming to town I made the largest pot of pasta, fresh loaves of French bread and took that, along with everything to make Ceasar salad. Once again I dropped it off, hugged and left. I wanted so badly to comfort them, but did not want to intrude in such a private time. For me, I wanted to comfort them and food was a way I could. It was a long week of mourning and everyone is still so sad. This young girl was a friend to so many. I think over a 1000 people came to the memorial service. It was beautiful but so heartbreaking! I have my call into the mother’s closest friends to please put me on the list of people to help out in any way I can. Now will start the SLOW path to healing.

I realized during all of this is, that we are all these kids parents. Our kids have all grown up together – school, little league, etc.  Its times like this that we must all rally around and keep the parents buoyed and loved. I think you can not hesitate in a situation like this because you don’t know what to do or say…you just have to go for it with all your heart. As my friend (the father of this girl) said, the day his daughter died put the biggest hole in his heart and all the out pouring from friends and family is like one scoop at a time filling it back up.

We will all experience highs and lows in our lives. What’s important to remember is that when you are in the midst of a high, there will surely be some around you in the midst of a low. Be there. Do what you can. Even a little gesture can go a long way.