Monday, October 20, 2008

Such A Bittersweet Day

Today started off beautifully. My daughter, R., woke up as a five year old. She jumped into bed with me, her dad, and her brother, T. All that was missing was W., who had already gone off to school.

As we snuggled, the telephone rang, it was my mom. My baby brother was on the way to the hospital with his girlfriend, L., who was just eight days shy of her due date. Her water broke and she was ready to deliver my nephew.

R. was thrilled that she was going to be sharing her birthday with her new baby cousin.

The day went on happily.

There were two dozen pink and hot pink balloons floating in R.'s room when she returned from school. There were presents from her big brothers. There was a special dinner, hand picked by the birthday girl. There was a huge chocolate brownie with candles. There was even time for a little Pre-Halloween mischief to be done to our wonderful neighbors.

At 12:08 pm, a 7 lb. 7 oz baby boy was born. I was now a first-time aunt (on my family's side). Ten toes and ten fingers. Strawberry-blonde hair, just like I had when I was born.

I was loving this day.

And then the shoe dropped. I opened an email from an old friend. The subject line read a single name. The name belonged to the brother of one of my best friends from high school.

I immediately knew how the words in the email would form, even before I read it. It would not be good news.

Many, many years ago, this brother, K., a year younger than I, was in a horrible skiing accident. He was left paralyzed from the neck down. It devastated my friend, G., and his family.

G., K., and his family struggled onward. Emotionally, mentally, and physically they endured so much. Each family member dealt with the situation in their own way, as best as they could.

My friend G., shouldered a lot of the load. He had his own, debilitating health issues. But being the man he is, he still took care of his family. He put their needs and wants before his own. He helped take care of K. He made sure K. did some of the things he loved to do before that terrible day.

People who live as a quadriplegic frequently have health problems which are complicated from the injury. A few weeks ago, K. was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. He then contracted MRSA. Antibiotics were not able to stop the infection.

I cried as I read the email. K. had succumbed to this most recent illness. I now face the task of helping inform some of the many people who loved him. He will be missed tremendously.

27 comments:

Jennifer H said...

Such sad news, about your friend. I don't know what to say except that I'm so sorry, and send good thoughts for his family and friends. (hug)

The rest of the day held so much celebration - five is a big year (!), and all the happiness of a new life, too.

Bittersweet, yes. Very.

meleah rebeccah said...

Such sad news on such an otherwise wonderful day.

Happy 5th Birthday to R.

Kelley said...

So sad. I can only imagine the pain that that family is going through. And you. A day of such highs (Happy Birthday R! And congrats on being an Auntie!) to come crashing down so low.

Hugs babe.

Laura said...

A bittersweat day for sure.

My heart goes out to you.

My daughter was born the same day a dear family member died - we rationalized it that there can only be so many angels in heaven - so God took one, but also sent one to earth as a baby.

Hugs. Prayers. And birthday wishes.

Super B's Mom said...

A bittersweet day, indeed. My heart goes out to all of you.

But congratulations Auntie and Happy Birthday to R. :)

(((HUGS))) to you.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

What a perfect example of the Circle of Life.

The Fritz Facts said...

Such sad news, I am so sorry. I will keep you and your friends in my prayers.

Happy Birthday to R. 5 is a important year for little ones.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

Sadly one life ends but another is just beginning.

The Mom said...

I seem to find days like this being the overwhelming truth of the circle of life. Wow.

Congratulations on your new nephew and i'm so sorry for the loss of your friend.

Hugs!!

Justice Jonesie said...

So sorry to of the sad news and your loss. This was a bittersweet day, both joy and sadness. My thoughts are with you and your friend's family.

georgie said...

goodness what a joyous AND sad day

happy birthday to the lil beauty of 5 wise yrs gosh i wish i was 5again if only for a day and pink balloons wow!

Sabrae said...

Happy b-day to your little one :) Sorry to hear about your friend

Mrs. Schmitty said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words about my friend. He will be missed.

I will pass along your birthday wishes to my little girl.

Justice Fergie said...

my sympathies. what a bittersweet day.

happy birthday to R.

Day Dreamer said...

I'm so very sorry about K.

One is born another leaves, years of life celebrated while one ends...

Big hugs for all if it. I so envy you one of those newborn cuddles!

beth said...

There must be a reason why the term: bittersweet starts with the worst first and ends with on a good note....... My thoughts are with you.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

First of all, happy birthday to R.

Second of all, I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend...my heart goes out to his family and friends. Hugs to you!

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your friend.

Momo Fali said...

I'm so sorry.

Many years ago, my Dad and step-mother were married on the day that my dear cousin died. It is still hard to celebrate their anniversary on such a sad day. But, life has an inevitable way of going on.

Megryansmom said...

I'm so sorry.

Hi it's the welcome wagon again, just to keep things interesting, I'll be randomly revisiting ALL the blogs in SSS. You can call it butt kissing too, just in case you have me as your partner, I want to make sure I've made a good impression.

EE said...

So sorry about your friend. Hugs!

meleah rebeccah said...

*hoping you are alright. been a while since you posted, that's not like you....*

sam {temptingmama} said...

*hugs* I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Bittersweet indeed. *sigh*

Marshamlow said...

Sorry for your loss.

Sarah said...

So sorry to hear of your recent loss.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

bittersweet.
My sympathy to you and your friends family. Congrats on the new baby and Hppy Birthday to the big girl!

Bonnie the Boss said...

What a draining day, emotionally. It is hard to process days like that. I hope you are doing better now.