Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In Memory of Christie

I've written before about the privilege of parenting. There are moments when parenting is so, so hard--when I dream of weekends pre-Lydia spent on the sofa, going out, taking yoga classes, just wandering about with little responsibility or agenda. And then there are moments when you realize that parenting, in itself, is a privilege that I enjoy, not some social obligation or duty.

Today, I received a CaringBridge journal update that carried the message that a young woman from my hometown passed away after a valiant fight against a brain tumor. Christie learned of her tumor after experiencing headaches while on maternity leave, and today she left behind a little girl who will turn two in February. As a mom who is about to welcome another child, this idea is too much to process.

I remember Christie as graceful, kind, and beautiful. She sang in church choir and we performed together with Youth Performing Arts. I didn't know her well then, and I haven't talked to her in years, but this news today is a lot, and my heart aches--for Christie's little girl, for her husband, her parents, her siblings, and for Christie, who will not get to watch her daughter grow. Her passing is catastrophic, and there are many, many people hurting tonight. As I attempt to wrap my head around this loss, as I remember Christie, I am reminded that mothering in all its messy, frazzled, imperfect glory is a privilege.

(Christie's Caring Bridge journal can be found at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/christieengelmann.)

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