Saturday, October 29, 2005


I was awakened this morning in the way that we all dread...

The phone rang as Rob and I were in bed, dozing. My first thought was, "It's only 8 am. I hope it's nothing bad."

Rob answered, listened for a minute, then handed me the phone. It was my mom, crying.

A little girl I babysat for as a teenager has died. She was 23 and on her way from her home in Colorado to see her parents and siblings for her sister's birthday. I don't know the details but it sounds like she went off the road and landed in a lake.

How awful. I feel so terrible for the family. Her parents were always SO good to me. I sat for Tanya a lot. We would play with her dolls, or color, or (her favorite) make pudding and paint with it all over the peninsula in their kitchen. I would put her to bed in her Rainbow Brite bedroom and then clean up the kitchen and the living room. Occasionally I did a load of laundry. I was a GREAT babysitter, if I do say so myself. But these people were appreciative of both the time I spent with their precious little girl AND of the efforts I made to make sure their home was neat and a pleasure to come home to.

I didn't have much contact with them after I left for the Army. Life gets busy, I guess, and we all have a tendency to be a little self-absorbed, especially at that age. But I sent Christmas cards, I ran into them here and there, and Tanya served at the gift table ay my wedding.

As a child, she was all big brown eyes and fidgety legs. She was a little shy, but bold when she got comfortable with you. She hated loud noises, so would sit in the bleacher section next to the band while I was playing at basketball games, holding her hands over her ears. She was like our mascot -- like a little sister. She tagged along with me all over the place. She played with my dog, had dinner at my house, and drew pictures for me. She was affectionate and playful and silly and fun.

I am trying to find a way to get back there for the funeral. I hope to do a scrapbook for her family. I think it would be helpful for me and I hope it would be for them. I'll post more later; in the meantime, if you love somebody, TELL THEM. You never know when it might be too late to say it just one more time.

1 comment:

  1. How sad. My thoughts and prayers are with Tanya's family. I know this has to be a very hard time for them and for you.