A friend of mine that I used to do hair with called me this weekend to tell me that one of my favorite old client's mother had died.
At least that's what I thought he was telling me on the phone. I was smack in the middle of a fierce game of Candyland with the girls and apparently didn't listen as closely as I should have.
Had I been paying full attention, I would have known it wasn't the old client's mother who died but her young daughter.
I saw the friend who called me today and I casually mentioned that I hadn't seen the obituary in the paper yet, and found that odd. He then clarified what I had stupidly missed in the weekend phone call.
Apparently Ava had developed a brain tumor about a year and a half ago which they operated on, but it was a one shot deal. When it came back, it was just a matter of time before she succumbed to it.
Traci, Ava's mother, was a fragile woman with a kind heart. She and her husband brought their family here after he was transferred through work. She kept a trace of a southern accent that got stronger when she joked around. She had a gentle but firm way of keeping Ava out of trouble while she was getting her hair done, but Ava never strayed far. Usually she would curl up on her mom's lap while I shampooed Traci's hair.
I don't and hopefully will never ever know that pain the family must be going through right now, but my heart breaks just thinking about that kind of loss. Nothing strikes more fear in the heart of a parent than thinking about one's child in pain or worse.
It feels so cheesy to say, but life comes at us so fast. Events like this are a stark reminder to slow down, appreciate the small things, and take stock of what we often take for granted.
Rest in peace, baby girl.
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