I knew this was going to be a rough work day. I looked at my schedule and decided today was a day for comfort clothes. Some people have comfort food. I have comfort clothes.
It's one of the best parts of working at home. Unless I'm planning to go out, no one really sees what I wear when I work or walk Holly. Today's comfort clothes included my Chicago Blackhawks fleece pants and a Coldplay t-shirt. As expected, it was a rough day. I thought the worst was over when I finished a high profile town hall.
I was walking Holly when a friend called. Did I hear that Lisa died? Her daughter received a text message from Ella, Lisa's daughter. She was wondering if I heard any news. I told her I hadn't heard, but I'd call someone else for confirmation. No one was surprised that Lisa died. She had been very sick with brain, bone and liver cancer. It was her second bout since declaring victory over stage IV breast cancer a few years ago. We knew it was coming. It didn't make it any better.
As soon as the girls walked in from after-school band practice they started crying, They told me Ella's mom died. Between their tears they said they heard about it in band class. Ella texted someone who shared it with the class. They cried during class. They cried in other classes when friends asked if it was true. They cried after school back in the band room
Ella has been to our house and hung out with our girls for years. I think their tears were a sign of their fears as well as for Ella's loss. The girls knew Lisa's cancer returned. They talked to Ella about it from time to time. No matter how mature they seem, our girls are still little girls afraid that something will happen to Momma or Daddy. It's one thing for a parent's death to be a vague fear. It's another thing for a friend's parent to die. It's going to be a hard life lesson for the whole school as they grieve for Lisa, face their fears and learn to go back to being sixth graders. There aren't any comfort clothes that can make it easier. We'll all have to work through it together.