“If I leave here tomorrow,
Will you still remember me?”
Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
I just tucked Jack in, and from the far off distance of the kitchen, I can still hear him in his bed, fighting sleep and singing. This time his playlist consists of “Old Town Road” by Little Nas X, repeating the chorus over and over again of “ain’t nobody tell me nothing” and actually doing a pretty good job of keeping the tune. I am somewhat pleased that he enjoys singing, I think it is a wonderful talent to have, and sad that he does it better than me. Bedtimes have always been a time of kisses and cuddles, laughing and smiles, but this past week seems to have been a bit more deliberate. With the passing of Kobe Bryant last week along with his daughter and seven other souls (two of which were also kids), I know everyone took the time to hug their own children a little bit more than usual, and soak in the memories a lot..more.
As I was leaving work today, I caught a glimpse of the television that was turned on and showing the scene of an accident near Moore High School. The caption on the bottom is one that no parent would like to ever read, that several students were struck by a man driving a truck, and that one of the students, was pronounced dead with a few others being transported to the hospital. With the passing of the 3 girls fresh in everyone’s minds, I for one spent all last week thinking to myself “I just can’t imagine” how that must feel like to get that call about your child. Today someone else got that phone call, and I am in tears thinking about it.
I can’t help but think of what that girl’s last Facebook post was about. Did she post something funny about what happened over the weekend with her and her friends? Did she take 100 Snapchats of her face with cute puppy dog ears, did she post on her Instagram about the sunset she saw? I can’t help but think that she was happy and lively and amazing, kids are funny that way. They hold such an innocence that we tend to lose as adults. She was standing outside, after school, like she had done hundreds of times before, talking with her friends, probably wishing that they would get a snow day on Wednesday, so that she could binge watch some funny new show on Netflix with a couple of her other girlfriends. Maybe they were making plans for next weekend, or talking about what to do about some cute boy with Valentine’s Day just a couple weeks away. I don’t know what she was doing or thinking about, just that she was with her friends.
I think about all the times I have dropped Jack off at school, just to watch his small frame carry a big backpack full of big dreams into that building. How many times have I watched him run out of the door when I go to pick him up, grabbing him full stride and lifting him up and squeezing him as tight as I can, squeezing every last bit of breath out of him, because I am so happy that he still has many billions of breaths to take. I think about all the hugs and kisses I have given him over the years, and I think that I can still give him so many..more.
I think about my family and my friends. Do they know how much I love them? Do they know how much I think about them? Maybe losing a parent and a best friend makes you a bit sentimental, but probably not enough. I still have memories of moments and people where I think I should have done more to show them how much I love them, how much more I care for them, to simply just do more and be more for them. I would like to think I do my best to tell Jack everyday how much I love him, and see that silly little face tell me he loves me too as he slams the door on his way into school. But do I do that enough with everyone else?
How many more pictures should I have taken on that vacation? How many more days should I have taken off to go on one? How many more I love yous could I have said? Maybe this week I will text that friend I haven’t spoken to in a while, maybe I will write that letter I feel I owe someone, maybe I will just open my heart a little bit more, and see how beautiful the world can be when I choose to love..more.
Tonight I am heartbroken, and I know so many others are the same. Moore is a community that has already seen it’s fair share of tragedy, but time after time, it rallies. Moore is strong because the people are strong, but I wish they didn’t have to be this time. I wish they didn’t have to rally, I wish a little girl was at home telling her family about the great day at school she had today, and that other families weren’t gathered around each other in prayer for the lives that are still in jeopardy tonight. I wish I could do more, but for now, all I can do is pray for… MOORE.