Sometimes, when we're least expecting it, life just reaches up and smacks us with a reality check. We can always use it, and we're usually desperately in need of it. I just wish it didn't have to make me sad at the same time.
Here I've been sitting and waiting on a very expensive toy that is meant for children and for which I paid even more than it is worth because I bought it on eBay. I'm too impatient to wait until the stores might actually have it in stock again. I've checked the tracking number roughly every seven minutes just in case it's sitting right outside on my front porch and I didn't notice it. I've been obsessed with getting it.
Then today I learned that a co-worker's 11-year-old step-daughter died on Friday. As in the day after Christmas. Eleven years old. She apparently developed flu-like symptoms and spiked a fever. They rushed her to the hospital, and she died within an hour. I don't know her step-father well; he works in the other side of our building. But I cannot even conceive of how their hearts must be breaking. I don't know how a parent buries a child and goes on living himself or herself.
I need to remember what's important. And I need to drive to Jacksonville and hug my daughter.