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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's Really Important

There is a news story that has blown up and the whole thing makes me disgusted. A 5 year old child in the UK is being charged for not attending a Birthday party, with the threat of small claims court if they don't pay up. The boy's family had accepted the invitation, but then realized his Grandparents would be visiting and his parents kept him home. The mother of the Birthday boy sent home an invoice for approximately $24.00 to the family who bailed on the party. Is this because the Birthday boy didn't get a gift from that child? Does this Mother not have more important things to worry about? Being the Mother of three, Teale being special needs, I know much about how life can be extremely unpredictable. I've thrown several parties over the years where someone I surely thought and hoped would be there, suddenly bailed. It is life, stuff happens, people forget, sickness occurs, plans get changed.
I may be overly sensitive to the pettiness of this because our life can be so challenging. Also, I only just found out last night that a classmate of my daughter Teale, died over the weekend. A 16 year old boy passing suddenly can rock your heart like nothing else. It makes me wonder if the family of the Birthday boy has never struggled in life? How could anyone not see how incredibly selfish they are being? Does the family regret it now that the story has gone viral and their actions are being questioned by thousands of people? I haven't seen anyone stick up for the Mother who sent home the invoice, although, I'm sure there are some.
As my heart hurts for the family who lost their son at my daughters school, I can't help but wonder why we can't just be kinder to each other? We never know what each other is truly facing in life. I never saw Andrew as a particularly "sick" child. I knew he had diabetes, but his family seemed to be on top of it and as an outsider, he lived with it well. There is no known cause of death yet, but rumors are that he had the flu and complications from diabetes occurred.
Andrew was a boy who was quick with a smile and a hug. It's hard to believe, all of it..... I don't think anyone who has a child in their life, doesn't get the pain that our family and people touched by Andrew feel. The loss of a child is overwhelming, always. It is a universal feeling that a parent should not have to bury their child.
We all have "stuff" in our lives, I don't think "my stuff" is bigger than yours, but it is different. Living the challenges with Teale has changed us, as people and as a family. We know life is precious and very unpredictable. We've almost lost Teale a few times, starting with her unresponsive birth and each time I saw our mortality very clearly.
May we all embrace each other with love and kindness today, because in the end, the only thing important in life is each other. God Bless you Andrew, thank you for the smiles and hugs. You are missed.

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