When Loss finds you Unexpectedly

This morning I packed up cookies for my almost five year old to take to school so that he could share them with his classmates in celebration of his upcoming birthday that will occur while their school is on Spring Break next week.

This morning his dad and I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get his almost five year old brain to wrap around the concept that yes today is not his birthday but he is just going to CELEBRATE it with his school friends. And yes we are STILL having a birthday party at the trampoline park, because he was very concerned about wanting them all to have fun.

This morning was full of conversations about celebrating his birth.

This morning – the very last thing I expected my mom to say when she called me while I sat in the Starbucks Drive thru lane was to tell me that my Pawpaw had passed away.

I never expected to be slapped in the face with a reminder of the fragility of life. I never expected to be mentally taken back to last Thursday when my own dad was in the ICU with a brain bleed facing possible surgery and being scared of all the worst possible outcomes.

I never expected after that and only a short week later that he’d be struggling with hisĀ  own recovery and then have the death of his father piled on top.

Things are still fresh and messy and complicated in my head – but I’m writing because that helps to sort things out.

I’m just thinking about how we can’t take for granted all the little moments that make up our lives. And we for sure can’t take for granted the ones we’ve chosen to spend those moments with.

I spent a lot of time today thinking about my Pawpaw and the moments that come to mind when I think of him.

My Pawpaw served and retired from the United States Air Force. When I think of a soldier, I think of him.

My Pawpaw was an extremely religious man. When I think of church on Sundays. When I think of long wooden pews and hymnals. When I think of the beginning of my childhood experiences with the community and extended family that belonging to a church brings, I think of him.

My Pawpaw used to do this thing where he’d threaten to ‘mute’ me with his TV remote, because I was a chatty kid – especially when he was trying to enjoy a show. When my kids are talking over my latest Netflix obsession, I think of my Pawpaw.

My Pawpaw was never afraid to try a new hobby. In my lifetime? He had horses, hunting dogs, several boats, scooters and then motorcycles, and always all kinds of new technology. When I think of jumping in head first into something you’re interested in, I think of my Pawpaw.

And then just a million other childhood memories, that flashed in my head throughout the day today.

So. Just love on your loved ones today. Be present in the moments that make up your life. Value the people that are there with you in those moments.