Thursday, October 17, 2013

I've Felt Sick All Day

Zach got  home from work last night around eleven. I was on the computer when he came into  the room and told me a boy he's known since elementary school had just died. Zach repeated kindergarten which means he was a year older than most of his classmates, this kid being one of them. That would make this kid twenty years old.

Sometimes good kids make bad choices.

I know I did. I know my own kids and all kids do. I was one of the lucky ones and my kids have been lucky ones. I learned  from my mistakes, sometimes the hard way but by my late twenties finally figured things out for myself. Zach struggled early. He has ADD and was a tremendous hurdle through most of his school years. He rebelled authority and authority beat him down instead of lifting and helping him up.

Once I started to worry about him in high school I first thought I was being an over protective parent. I have learned since, there is no such thing. If you think there is something amiss with  your kid, you are most probably right.

Zach detested me for a while but I never gave up. I'll never apologize for the snooping, creeping on his Facebook or reading his cell texts. Number one, I paid for his phone, Internet use and he was living under my roof.  All in all it was a two year battle which ended in me having to bail him out, literally. Some of his so called friends hated me but that was okay, it was Zach's love I was concerned about.

Zach made some bad decisions but just like the person I brought him up to be, manned up and paid for his mistake; albeit with encouragement from  the judicial system. The bottom line is, he was one of the lucky ones.

I still worry  about him, all parents worry but he has made me proud and continues to do so. He had to break away from a lot of his friends. He still has his besties and all still  hang out at  my house but was running with way  too many kids that simply weren't good for him. It didn't mean they were bad kids, they just weren't good for Zach to be around. You  can't simply change playgrounds, you have to change playmates. I went through the same thing in my twenties. It didn't mean I hated those people or judged  them, it simply meant I chose another path.

"You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And  you are the one
who'll decide where to go.   (Dr. Seuss)

This kid was from a good family and  know his parents are absolutely and totally devastated...I know I would be.

After he and Zach quit running together I would still see him around town and he always spoke to me with  a smile, "Hey Ms. Cotton!"

He was a good kid who made some bad choices. Zach was lucky, this boy wasn't. This could have just as easily been my son's fate. This could have just as easily been my son. By God's Grace I still have my son and he's doing wonderful.

My heart goes out to his parents, my heart  goes out to  this kid.  My heart  goes out to every parent who prays their kid will turn out to be one of the lucky ones.

I thought about this all day long. It was on my mind and heart  all day and  simply couldn't quit thinking about this boy. Yes it's a tragedy and seems so senseless.

The only positive I can gleam from this is that maybe all the kids who knew and loved this boy (and he really was a sweet kid with a great smile) will look at  their own life and realize how very precious it is and how quickly that gift can be taken away.

Life has no guarantee or come with a warranty. There are no "Do Overs." This is it, you got one shot, take good aim.

Life is this immediate instant.

You may draw in a breath but not guaranteed to be around to even exhale. Life's that fleeting.

Yes I'm one of the lucky ones . I had three kids...
and still do.

Sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to this young man's family. May their son's passing be a lesson to us all...Life doesn't offer "Do Overs."

Geez, I wish for their sake it did.

Til next  time...COTTON

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