On ordinary Tuesdays

I drive carefully past the happy playing in our cul-de-sac and pull into the drive.  I give a quick wave to my three girls all gathered in the quiet street making merry faces with chalk.  I think nothing more of their playing.  I don't pause to linger over laughter.  It's an ordinary Tuesday.

Exactly two weeks ago was like any other plain day where families wake up and eat breakfast and head off to work and school.  Mornings full of half-hearted kisses goodbye, with no thought that the same thing could not be expected tomorrow.  It proceeded along, almost mundane in its presentation.

But later that afternoon I got a call from a friend.  She laid it all out in truth, how one family woke that morning to devastating loss.  I didn't want to hear it.  That perhaps my not knowing would make it less true.  My eyes blurred, my stomach groaned, my mind kept repeating, "Children aren't suppose to die."  The unimaginable is reality when it touches you.  You find your world rocks a bit too hard, and sometimes the only prayer a helpless heart can manage is, "Oh, God."

I set the pizza on the counter, and find Tim in his office.  I invite him into the kitchen to eat, and as he finishes his work, he tells me like its slightly interesting news.  It springs so lightly from his lips that I wonder how it can fall so heavy in my heart.  The words yank hard, pulling me into the scene.

It was a moment of mercy that saved her.  Liza, and all of her four small years, crouched down near the ground filling in that black top with her imagination.  The driver didn't see her there in front of the driveway as the car began to pull in.

For so many, it's just an ordinary Tuesday that finds the world spinning just as it should.  Children aren't suppose to die, but they do whether you know about it or not.

She moves away from her crouching, and she is seen in that one incredibly small grace filled moment.

And to me, it's more than a short story you read about on Facebook that gives you a happy ending.  My world rocks a bit too hard today, and all a thankful heart can pray is, "Oh, God!"

Tonight, I hold her close and bury my nose in her sweet brown curls, a tangled mess on her head.  I move hands slowly over her arms and down to her chalky little fingers.  I memorize the dimples in her elbows; the dirt on the feet that never care to wear shoes. Her green eyes smile behind those impossibly long lashes.  I feel the welcoming warmth of her skin, her breath, she is limber with LIFE.

I know I want no part of thinking I'm living through another ordinary day.  For love and life are really the most extra-ordinary gifts, if we care to enjoy their presence.


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