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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Our precious lives

  • I recall visiting my sons’ kindergarten classroom this last year. The kids were always filled with eager, joyful energy. Ready to learn, meeting new friends, gaining some independence. They smile and say hello to the parent visitors.  

     


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  • I recall visiting my sons’ kindergarten classroom this last year. The kids were always filled with eager, joyful energy. Ready to learn, meeting new friends, gaining some independence. They smile and say hello to the parent visitors. 
    Sometime after winter break, there was a new girl in the classroom. She was tall, with long blond hair and possessed a comfort and confidence that struck me. It was her first day of school in Sleepy Eye and she was talking and walking about, like she owned the place; like she had known the other children for years. She shared stories with the kids and myself, making connections and informing us of who she was and where she’d been. “My name is Destany, she said, I live in a white house, you know the one, its right near the green house. I have a puppy…” and on and on she shared. She was so sweet and I was absolutely taken in by her comfort and pride.
    Last week, I read in the paper that Destany died. Oh my! It couldn’t be, she’s only 6! She was so full of life…and she’s only 6! My son is 6. Maybe I had the wrong girl. No, it’s confirmed, it is the same girl. I lose my breath and have chills throughout my body. The obituary picture looks like the spring pictures of my own children. I have trouble when young children die anyway, it doesn’t seem right. I keep picturing this girl making her place in the kindergarten classroom. After I begin breathing again, I instinctively say so many prayers for the protection and long and happy lives of my children, and I want to put them in a bubble of safety and good health. 
    Since that bubble isn’t realistic, I continue the day with a reminder of the fragility and unpredictability of life. I pay attention to my kids with all my heart, letting other things go for now. I can’t imagine not having them here. I can’t imagine what Destany’s mom and dad are experiencing. My deepest sympathies to them. I leave the dishes for now, I ask the kids to help me in the kitchen when we are preparing supper, I say yes to the lemonade and cookie stand. I want to be close and cherish with great attention the time I have with my children, right now. Life is so precious! 
    When we head to bed, I hug my children extra tight and feel and appreciate their warm skin. I feel their hearts beating and appreciate that more than ever. I look at their faces and sweet sun-kissed hair and feel so grateful for this day!! 
    I’d like to remind you to appreciate what is around you, the life before you, because we never know what a day will bring!
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