Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Me

I pulled into the driveway after work last night, dodging the 2 skateboards, the basketball , and the bike which were in the driveway. As I got out of the car, I kicked the skateboards and basketball into the open garage, grumping to myself about the guys just leaving this stuff lying around.

I walked in the door, hot, and tired for no reason at all (work is incredibly slow in the summer and being bored exhausts me). Elder Son met me right inside the door and said, “Hey, Mom, do you want to play a game of darts with me?” I said, “Geez, can't I even get in the door? No, honey, I really don’t want to play darts right now – maybe later.” Then, maneuvering around our giganormous dog (who also met me at the door wagging, wagging, wagging his tail – waiting for any sort of recognition from me), I proceeded to greet Dear Husband for our evening “how-was-your-day” ritual.

After said exchange, I looked around to assess the damages of a summer Tuesday: dishes on the counter, Jimmy John’s wrappers on the table, 2 baseball gloves and a ball in the chair in the living room, lemonade cans on the end table, sofa pillows on the floor, video games lying on the couch, blah, blah, blah. I picked up a few things as I walked through the living room, wondering aloud just how hard would it really be for those guys to pick up after themselves and noting how much easier for all of us it would be if they could just learn to do this one thing.

Feeling lazy, we decided to go out for a burger, stopped to pick up a few necessities at Target, swung into the library, and then landed at home to relax for the evening in the cool of an air-conditioned house. As soon as we got home, Elder Son again came and asked if I wanted to play a game of darts with him (it WAS later, after all!). By then I was tired and really didn’t want to do anything except veg – so I begged off and promised to play a game with him tomorrow. As a last resort, Elder Son got Younger Son to play darts with him. “Thank God!” I thought.

Then this morning on my way to work, I learned from the radio news that at right about that same time the night before, less than a mile from my house, a young boy had drowned at the beach near our house. Details haven’t been released about exactly what or how it happened, except to say that lifeguards were on duty and his parent(s?) nearby. The boy’s body was discovered by some teenage swimmers, who had bumped into it in the water. According to early reports, lifeguards performed CPR on him at the scene and he was then taken to the local hospital – as was his mother, who is pregnant and had gone into labor. The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital. Doctors were able to stop the mother’s labor, but they were not able to save her son.

Lord, have mercy.

How very tragic it is to think that while I was blowing my own son off in order that I could sit on my bum and watch a re-run of “Law and Order” in the cool of my messy living room, another mother on a hot beach very nearby was watching lifeguards as they tried to revive her dead son.

How very tragic it is to think that I met my son’s eager request to play with “not right now” when another mother very nearby will never get to play with her son again.

How very tragic it is to think how often I whine and complain because my sons leave their stuff all over the yard and the house - when another mother very nearby had lost her son, after whom she’d never pick up again.

How very tragic, indeed.

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