With the ring of the phone, life can change.
Remember the movie Erin Brokovich? Played so brilliantly by Julia Roberts, who won an Oscar for her performance, Erin fought for those terribly affected by the carelessness of big corporations. This movie hit me very hard because I have cousins affected by similar situations.
Raised in Arizona, on a "plume" of toxic waste, Barb didn't know her body was turning on itself. Her brain cancer, discovered many years later, actually mutated her genes. Unknown to her, she had passed this gene on to all three of her children (who in turn will pass it on to their children, and so on...) All three kids, who lost their mother when they were very young, have fought the cancer. They've had more brain surgeries than anyone should be allowed to bear.
Her youngest was found, collapsed on the floor at his Grandpa Jim's house. He is brain dead, on life support, and the family has gathered around his bedside to say their final goodbyes. Beau is twenty five years old.
All of this because of corporate greed and carelessness.
This situation is so sad, so wrong, and I'm at a loss for words, which is rare for me. Last night, I sat on my front porch watching the normalcy of my neighborhood pass by. Kids playing, a distant radio, and the smell of some amazing BBQ coming from one street over. I rocked in my chair and I wondered at how fragile it all is.
I watched my son playing with the neighbor kids, then tossing a football with his dad. I can't imagine losing that. I know I would go insane.
We sat around the dinner table earlier in the evening. I was obviously distracted, but put on that face of "mom's fine" that we all pull out from time to time. The clouds were starting to gather, we were expecting late evening rain. The air was cool and calm. A bright red Cardinal had been serenading me for the last few days. I wondered why he stuck so close to our house. As he sat in the Hydrangea bush next to our deck, singing and chirping, we heard a slight echo to his song. There in the bush was a nest. He wasn't singing to me. He was singing to his babies, two bald, big-eyed creatures with beaks wide open, looking for warmth and love and food from their dad.
Their small birth, their newness of life, they gave me peace. Circle of life.
I hope that Beau is with his mom, shining in Heaven, pain and symptom free for the first time in his short life. I hope he's running with the angels and surrounded with love.