Tonight the local news is on the background as we’re making dinner. Then we hear it. It’s happened again. A local high school freshman, a 15 year old little girl- Anna Kroger- has died. Apparently, she wasn’t sick. She wasn’t injured. She was in school last week. Sunday morning she just died. They are calling it a “medical emergency”. The students are stunned. Even students at rival high schools are holding vigils for her. No one expects a 15 year old to pass away. What we don’t realize until it happens to us is it happens literally every day.
I am in a group in Facebook called Parents United In Loss. Looking at the pictures posted every day of children and young adults who have transitioned makes me realize how fleeting life is, as if I could ever forget.
And to show how we’re not as far apart as we think we are. While this girl went to a Catholic high school across town and we had never even known her name, Shayna played basketball with a girl who is a year ahead of her in the same high school and Shayna and Lindsay were very good friends. Lindsay also knows Anna.
Never wait until tomorrow to hug your kids. Don’t hold on to anger. Tell them you love them every day. My last memory of Shayna is me walking up the stairs and she was in the bathroom getting ready for bed. I said “Good night sweetie, I love you.” She replied “I love you, too.” Normally, she would have come out to give me a hug, but she must have been busy. I do know that the last thing she heard from me was “I love you.”