When you are surrounded by as much death as I was as a child, it sort of numbs you. You realize at a very young age that people die. People that other kids your age think are invincible, you know the truth about.
My grandfather died when I was six. Next was my dad at ten. Then my grandma, eleven. Finally my aunt at sixteen. The entire side of my dad's family, gone in a decade.
Growing up, I just expected death to come. Every late night phone call I received I assumed was a hospital calling to tell me that my mom had died. Once I met and fell in love with and married my husband, all those fears shifted to him.
Regardless of all that, from the time that I was 16 until a few years ago, death's calls to my circle of family and friends had greatly decreased. As much as I always expected it, I had gotten lulled into a false sense of security, the idea that maybe we do live forever.
But that all changed a few years ago when Death reentered my life and started taking people that were too young to go. And Death just did it again. Taking a friend of my husband's. A mom of two young girls, a woman my age.
And I found myself thinking a thought I haven't thought in a long time.
It's not fair.
There's no great lesson to be found here. No big statement. Just an acknowledgment that I'm sad and angry.
In some ways I feel like that 10-year-old little girl again, pretending to understand but not.
For today I'll leave it at that and hug my kids and my husband. I don't understand and probably never will. Perhaps it's not my job to understand but to live the life I have while I can because you never know when everything could change.
Then again, maybe that is understanding.