My 46-year-old cousin, beloved husband, father, son, friend, coach and all around great guy died. Driving to work, he was hit by a truck and gone instantly. My family is forever diminished.
My cousin’s family grew up around the corner from ours. I was prolly 10 before I understood the difference between ‘brother’ and ‘cousins’. I had four brothers and three of them usually went to the other home at night. As kids, we were all siblings with two sets of parents.
Growing up, we always celebrated every family moment together. Over the years that was a lot of vacations, Birthday, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving 4th of July, Mother, Father and Grandparent days plus all the little stuff in between; fishing, learning to ride bikes, stilts, good report cards, the ice cream truck or backyard baseball. We camped every weekend in the summer and set the yard on fire with a magnifying glass.
As we got older and had our own families we haven’t spent as much time together, but we are crazy glued into each other’s lives by major holidays and the Momma hotline.
In spite of a career covering news, I can’t comprehend how such a vital life could disappear in seconds. My Parents, Aunt and Uncle are so distressed. My Brother and Cousins are crushed. There is nothing I can do to help, really. I find myself teary and miserable at unexpected moments. I feel like my head is filled with bees. The thought of what his widow and sons are going through makes it hard to breathe.
Poor Mr. W and the kids! I have unabashed Cling Time. I can hardly stand to let anyone out of my sight. I took my Parents to the airport and had a horrible moment when I thought about flinging myself on the sidewalk, throwing a tantrum, sobbing ‘Don’t leave!’ I’m glad they are wintering in Arizona, but I get panicky if I don’t talk to my Mom often.
The only thing I take away from all this grief is that a life can be finished in a second, no matter what you’ve got planned. If there was ever a time to make amends, be kind, tell someone that you love them, make someone laugh or count you blessings – the time is NOW.