I am still wiping away tears after a lovely moment that helped me regain a glimmer Christmas spirit after this tragedy-drenched week had all but dissolved it. My daughter’s preschool collected toys and gift cards for the family of a young Riley Hospital leukemia survivor. I just delivered the bag full of goodies to the boy’s tearful and grateful mother, who is doing her best to give her sons a great Christmas while keeping up with medical expenses. When I think of how many families stepped up to contribute to help a family in need who they had never met, I feel deeply encouraged about the state of our world and humankind.

I have really not felt like writing about the terrible events in Connecticut, since so much has been said about it, and it’s so hard to even think about. I have found myself shedding tears at unexpected times as the whole thing processes slowly in my mind. Last night, I was cuddled in bed next to my 2-year-old, Daisy May. She has been sick with a stomach bug, and I was trying to get her to sleep. I had just finished finally explaining the shootings to my daughter, Clara, who happens to be in first grade. Everything was right at the surface.

As I stared into Daisy’s huge, dark chocolate eyes, she caressed my face. “Borrowed,” I kept thinking. Our children – everyone in our lives – they are all borrowed. None of us can know what terrible twist of fate might turn everything we know upside down, whether it’s leukemia, a random act of violence, a job loss, a natural disaster, or some other unexpected blow. At least for me, this horrible event has brought a new sense of urgency to my efforts to treasure beautiful moments and minimize unnecessary stress about things that just don’t matter.

Today, I will crank up Christmas music. I will share the story of how our humble preschool helped provide holiday cheer to a family who needed a boost. I will play with my children and happily accept their sticky-fingered eskimo kisses. I will laugh with my husband and our friends as we get together tonight to celebrate the season.

I will make the very most of this borrowed time.

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