Hannah had her annual “well-baby check up” today. You know, the one you take your kid to every year around her birthday. 15 years old and over 5’8” – almost half a foot taller than me — Hannah is in the top 96% for height, 79% for weight, and received another vaccine today. We saw the same doctor that she’s seen every year of her life, in the office tower next to the hospital where she was born. As we passed by the hospital, I pointed out one of the windows. “That was my hospital room where I recovered after you were born,” I explained to Hannah, and I smiled remembering a younger version of me, leaving the hospital with my husband, my toddler son, and my newborn baby girl.
I thought I was keeping them safe. I made them wear helmets when they rode their bikes, I held their hands as we crossed parking lots, I got them all their vaccines. And still I lost Dragon. I thought I was doing everything I was supposed to do, and still I lost Dragon.
Before when I used to think, Life is unfair, I thought in terms of lotteries. Some people win the lottery and some people don’t – life is not fair. Stupid me — I never knew life could be unfair like this.
I wanted to call Jana. I wanted to call Mindy. I wanted to call Basia, Judy, Priscilla, Janet, Si, and Darlene. I wanted to call another mom who had experienced this level of unfair. Instead, I cried in the parking lot of the hospital where Hannah was born. I let the unbearable sadness and the tears wash over me, as I thought of all the vaccinations and well-baby check ups and the son I couldn’t protect who was no longer here with us on this summer day. I hugged Hannah tight and let her hold me.
Then I wiped my tears, got into our car, and drove to lunch.