a weird time to be jealous . . .

the mother of a colleague passed away this morning. She had been battling cancer for quite a while, but she died too young.

I need to dig through my pile of cards, pick up a pen, and write a note of sympathy to this co-worker . . . but I am struggling in a way, because I don’t know how to keep my jealousy out of it.

no, I’m not jealous that they lost their mother, or jealous of the pain and grief they will be facing in the days and weeks to come . . . rather, I’m jealous that they have such an amazing woman to grieve . . . that in the crapshoot that is the assigning of parents, this colleague of mine clearly won the grand jackpot. In updates on the website created to chronicle her journey, there were often remarks made about how often other people said that this woman felt like she was their mother, too. Understandably possessive, the actual children of this woman spoke of having had to struggle with the idea of this, with needing to share their mother with others.

And I want to explain to them that for some of us, this glimpse or shadow of what a mother is supposed to be was all we had . . . that, although the ache of not having that for ourselves was almost overwhelming at times, it was also true that those tiny glimmers of kindness and affection, those hints of what it felt like to be loved and accepted, were enough to keep us going, maybe even enough to save our lives.

I will never have such a cause for celebration, and yet, I have been sustained by these glimpses of kindness myself.

that is what I would like to share with my colleague at this time.

I just pray that I can find a way to do this while keeping myself out of it.

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