News came in last night that a family friend died tragically. I knew him, and he was a good guy. He was my uncle's best friend of more than twenty years, the uncle who is only five years older than me. We were raised more like siblings than uncle/niece and it's gut-wrenching to see him and his family suffering this way. This friend had young children. How do you choose who has to tell little kids that daddy is gone forever? Whose job is that? And how do you start that conversation? How do you choose what moment is best to change everything for them forever, to rip the security blanket from their backs and change their fundamental worldview?
What the hell do you say?
I have zero percent of the answers. Even today, as I cried a little here and there and worried about my family and this man's family and wished as hard as I could that I'd finally be the person to discover that elusive Right Thing To Say so I could fix it all, I still grumbled at my kids and cussed when I banged my knee and rolled my eyes at stuff that annoyed me. And constructed run-on sentences.
So maybe this is more for me than for anyone else, this reminder that we need to love our people as hard as we can every day. To create a solid 10:1 "I Love You" to "Grumble, grumble" ratio. To hug them perhaps a few seconds longer than they want us to.
I don't effing know. This life is so crazy unfair and crazy beautiful and crazy crazy. I don't have those elusive, perfect words. All I have is a collection of moments with my people, and I want those moments to count.