Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Things I Can Manage

I've been a little pre-occupied with freak tragedy lately. It may have started early in the year, when my half-sister and her husband, may their memories be a blessing, suddenly died in a massive car-crash. They had no children, but they had a life together which was wiped out in one blow.
A month or so ago a friend called me to share news of a young mother with a brain tumor. I'm not friends with the woman--there were times in my life (long past) that I might even have considered her my nemesis--but MAN that news hit me hard. Cut me deeper, I am ashamed to admit, than even the loss of my own half-sister. I cried, on and off for days thinking of what must be going on in her mind as she watches her young daughters play happily, unaware that the ground beneath their feet has shifted.

At a simchat bat today, running after my crazy toddler, I was taken aback when I was reminded just how many of the mother's aunts and uncles perished in the Holocaust. As she described how her grandmother managed to save her one aunt, recently deceased, I thought briefly about the torment of trying to raise a child in such a freakishly horrific time.

Accidents happen, illness happens, even Nazi Germany could happen again. Save a helmet and some good advice, I can't protect my son from something terrible happening to one--or both--of us. When I think too much about this, things feel very dark. Which is why, perhaps, I channel my worrying into "did he eat enough does he need another diaper don't let him run down the stairs." These things, I can manage.

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