If you’ve been living under a rock – or you’re wiser than I and don’t go on Facebook – you may be unaware of the Memories feature that pops up privately to users to remind us of moments in the past. I flip-flop in my love-hate relationship for Memories because, just like the real things, they stir up emotions and moments we’d sometimes rather not remember.
Today, one of those posts caught me by surprise. It was a memory I’d actually completely forgotten. And one that gave me pause to remember how drastically things can change.
Christmas 2016 was the second year in F’s entire life that I couldn’t give him the one thing he wanted for Christmas: this time, a Five Nights at Freddy’s play set made with Lego-like blocks. When we went to Florida that year, he asked me to try to find one and, after scouring high and low, we did.
Two short weeks later, just after dinnertime, F burst into tears and admitted he’d taken the Freddy figurine to school and he’d lost part of it. His devastation was contagious and so, instead of winding down for bedtime, we bundled up and drove to the school playground. And by some miracle, I found the piece.
(As it were, I had to go back again and eventually found two more – even smaller – pieces.)
Three years later, this memory popped up in my timeline and it hurt. Our province is grappling with loss and devastation following the worst news you could ever wake up to. The luxury of crawling around on gravel to find lost toy pieces has never felt so wonderful and I’m ashamed to admit how annoyed I was in those moments.
There’s no replacing the lost pieces of our communities.
In the past 48 hours, my heart has ached for the families now trying to cope with a loss so insurmountable, I can’t begin to process it.
I struggle to reconcile the loss of safety and security we feel.
It hurts to be reminded of the fragility of our lives, of the gift it is to be able to hug our loved ones.
It’s hard to know that there’s not a damn thing we can do to fix this.
It’s excruciating to be isolated and unable to come together in the way we normally would and confusing to try to find a new way – a safe way – to do so now.
Three years after searching a playground full of gravel for those tiny pieces, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give to have my son’s biggest worry a lost toy piece. As we try to move forward, my heart aches for him as he tries to understand the world we now live in. The world where lost pieces are much bigger and far, far more fragile than those little plastic ones now lost at the bottom of a toy bin.