The only thing I ever wanted in my life and prayed for was to have a normal healthy, happy family where our home was in harmony…but the randomness of life stepped in. I have so many wonderful memories of Meggan. Her smile, as one dear friend remarked recently, was "contagious." She was a happy child and well rounded, and she loved her family and friends. Meggan would do anything for those she loved. She had the ability to pull others in, to make them comfortable and include them in things. She was silly…and, of course, naughty sometimes. But what child isn't?
Jim and I love our children so intensely, fiercely. No one could replace any of them. But we are fortunate to have our three surviving children and their families.
*Meggan would come bouncing down the stairs every morning, blue robe on, wet hair piled up in a towel, and the lilting fragrance of her perfume.
* Meggan loved to sing and play instruments….she loved her piano and could play by ear.
* The relationship she had with her sister….incredible….from the time we brought her home from the hospital, Jenny called her "her baby" I don't ever remember Jenny NOT bringing her some little gift when she was out shopping.
* Her brother, Scott, was fiercely protective of his little sister. Heaven help anyone who even thought of being disrespectful to her. Imagine what it was like for him when she was killed.
* Her brother, Jim, had great plans of having wonderful conversations with her about life and the journey she would take. He couldn't wait to "teach" her.
* I remember how she would come up behind me, lean her chin on my shoulder, and say "Hi, little Mommy."
* Jim remember the last thing they did together….she helped him rake leaves that day. Every year on Nov. 9th he rakes leaves.
* She never left without kissing us goodbye.
There's much more, of course….but…..
I grieve for the life we had with her, for the life we don't have because of her death, for the emptiness we feel without her, that she never got to go to a prom, graduate, go to college, sing in a choir, be in her siblings' weddings and Jim's ordination, have a job, get married, have children, experience life …..there are so many NEVERS. And so, at this time of year, it hits all of us like a ton of bricks. We wouldn't need to have a calendar to know the month, the day….in essence it's post traumatic stress.
Meggan, Emily and Kate were vibrant, kind, sensitive, good little girls, just beginning high school, each one the youngest sibling in their family. I don't ever dwell on the people who killed them, for that would only put my energy where I don't want it. Yet, at this time of year…Thanksgiving, her birthday, Christmas….I can't help but wonder if they even remember the results of their actions. Many would say these people have to live their lives with the memory but we live our lives without our children and with the memories of how she looked as she lay in a coma for 8 days. Truly it's the unthinkable for any parent or sibling to witness….but…."bad things (VERY bad things) happen to good people" as Rabbi Kushner wrote….and it makes no sense but it just IS.
Our family is blessed with tremendous extended family and friends who are still supportive and always will be, for Meggan touched their lives also when she lived. Her siblings have succeeded in so many ways, each of them making a significant difference in life thru speaking, teaching, writing and teaching their children about loving and respecting others. And for always I am grateful for the love and support that Jim has given us…he literally picked up all my pieces for years…and still does during these tumultuous times.
For those who read this and have lost a child, my heart goes out to you. No parent should have to bury their child. If you know someone who has experienced this kind of loss, reach out to them in kindness and allow them the freedom to talk about their child. And for everyone who reads this my daily prayer is that you will never ever have to experience this grief.
I wish you peace.