It’s the unfortunate scenario that eventually every parent has to go through… telling their child that someone they loved has died. Today our family experienced a tragic loss – we lost the boys’ caregiver, Elaine, in a car accident.
Elaine has been part of our lives for the last four years. She’s been watching Brogan since he was 8 weeks old. Monday through Friday, 8 or 9 hours a days, she has loved our boys like they were her own. She was loving, yet stern; they behaved better for her, they ate better for her. She could change their diapers easier too. She is what they have known for their whole lives, and in the blink of an eye she is gone.
It’s funny how life can change in an instant. How one decision you make has the opportunity to change the trajectory of a life. Who would have thought that a month ago, when I made the boys 2 and 4 year check ups for this afternoon, that while the boys were with us at the doctors, Elaine would venture off at 4pm to grab a bite to eat for her son. It’s hard not to think of the what-ifs… if the boys had been at her house, would she have taken them with her, or waited to go until I picked them up? I don’t usually get them until 4:45. I have to trust in God’s plan and know that things happened as they were meant to be, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that both of those scenarios keep replaying in my mind. I held my boys a little tighter and a lot longer tonight.
When I got the call from her son a few hours ago, it was hard to take in. It was a call from her phone, but when it wasn’t her voice on the other end, I instantly froze fearing something was wrong. I could have never imagined things were this wrong. That in the rain, a 19 year old kid t-boned her side of the car, less than a mile from her house, on a road I travel every single day. But that was the news I received, and my heart instantly broke for the loss of such a sweet soul… and for the impending heart break of my oldest.
I waited until Blake got home for us to tell Brogan the news. We were honest. We told him that Elaine went to heaven to be with Jesus, and that she’d be in his heart forever. He knew what it meant. He knew she had died. I knew that he’d understand, but I don’t think that I anticipated just how much he would get it. He wanted to know how, so we told him. He sobbed for the loss of his “meenamy,” as he called her. He wanted to make her a card, so we transcribed the sweet words from his heart as he told us how much he loved her and was going to miss her. It was absolutely heart breaking.
Elaine was like a grandmother to us. I am grateful for the four years that she devoted herself to my family and for her help in raising our boys. She will be very missed and not soon forgotten.