Tuesday, November 20, 2012


My coworker's sister died on Tuesday, eleven days before her wedding.

When I heard the news, my heart stopped. I've only known this girl for six months, but she's one of the sweetest people I know. And the news hit super close to home, with my sister getting married next year. I've spent lunch hours talking to her in the kitchen about her dress, and all of the plans, and I even left a funny sticky note on her desk last week.

The news put everything in perspective for me. All of the bullshit I've been stressed about doesn't matter. Holiday obligations and trying to cram in a thousand trips to see various people no longer matter. Thank god I HAVE them to see.

I've had dreams about her this week, and I've been thinking of her a lot. In fact, I have found myself able to think of little else.

She came back to work today after a week off for the funeral, and I was terrified.

I usually consider myself loving and compassionate (sometimes to a fault), but this tragedy feels too heavy to bear. When I walk past her desk, a wave of sadness washes over me. I've been avoiding her all day, and I've been planning my trips to the kitchen around when she is in meetings.I just can't bear to run into her. I'm afraid when I do, I'll burst into tears. I've cried on my own a few times already.

I can't for the life of me figure out what to say. How can one person endure what are probably the happiest and saddest days of her life in one week? It doesn't seem fair.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Miracle of Life

We sat, crowded into the gym turned makeshift movie theater, Trapper Keepers in our laps, staring in wide-eyed terror at the screen as a fetus emerged from a screaming woman's vagina.

I shuddered, hoping that wasn't the predetermined fate of every mother giving birth, and scanned the faces of the kids sitting around me.

Each one bore his own special brand of fear: cringing, pinched up faces, fear evident in clenched fists and crossed arms. A single tear of horror rolled down my cheek as I tucked my elbows in so as not to touch the boy sitting next to me (who happened to be my fifth grade crush).

What started off as a co-ed room slowly segregated to boys vs. girls. I didn't want to be near anything that could make that happen to me.

I never wanted to touch boys ever again.

All this debate about teen pregnancy... I'll tell you how we bring that statistic down: make every fifth grader watch The Miracle of Life.