January 5, 2012

Sometimes, Life Isn't Very Fair

Sometimes, life isn't very fair.

I feel that sentiment now, in my bones, in my heart. I feel it every day, every hour even. I feel it every time I look at my niece, Rowan.

Today, I watched after Rowan while her father, Pat, was at work. We had a tea party with grandma and with Uncle Justin, and then we settled down for some cartoons. (Dora, her favorite.) At one point, Rowie climbed over to me, curling her little body next to mine, and she stared at me with her great blue eyes.

She said, "I love you, Caroline!"

And I melted. And I hugged her close. And I thought...

Life isn't fair. Aimee should be here. She should watch her little girl grow. She should wake up next to her husband. She should be here, instead of there. Here, with us. Here, with Rowan.

Can I tell you guys a little story about Aimee? I'm babbling now but it's a nice story and it shows what a kind and loving and generous person she was.

When Justin and I started talking about marriage, I told him I didn't need a fancy engagement ring. He was a soldier in the Army; I was a lowly curatorial assistant. I rationalized that it would be more practical to spend that money on furniture or bills or simply save it. Justin asked me if I was sure. I told him I was sure.

But...I'm a bit of a girly girl and engagement rings are rather pretty and it would have been nice if... Well, my practical side won out anyway.

When Justin told Aimee about our plans though, she told him she had an idea. Aimee had a diamond ring, one that meant a great deal to her. And she offered to give the diamond to her brother so, in turn, he could give it to me.

I had only met Aimee once at that point. Yet, here she was, offering up such a lovely gift. I was incredibly touched but, as I got to know Aimee more, I came to see that this was how she always was. Ready to give. Ready to smile. Ready to love.

I've worn my engagement ring every day for the past five years. It's pretty, it's lovely, just as Aimee was. And, now, every time I look at it, I think of her too.


Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful and supportive comments, emails, and texts. I can't tell you  how grateful I am for your friendship and outreach. I know I haven't been able to respond to everyone individually (I'm workin' on it!) but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your support. It means the world to me. It really, really does.


  1. That was a really lovely story, Caroline. Aimee sounds like she was a wonderful person.

    My deepest condolences; sometimes life just doesn't seem fair.

  2. Love that story about Aimee. What a loving, amazing, gracious person.

    You said it: life isn't always fair. I'm hear if you need me. (((hugs)))

  3. That's beautiful. She really was a special person.

    My thoughts are with you and all your family.

  4. She sounds like a lovely person in every sense of the word.

    I'm so sorry, Caroline. I'm thinking of you and your family.

  5. Life truly isn't fair. Aimee sounds like a loving, kind woman and those are memories you can tell her daughter about one day.

    I'm so sorry, Caroline. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  6. I love that story. She sounded like a wonderful person. I'm sorry she's gone! I visited Aimee's husband's blog when you originally posted it and I haven't stopped thinking about your family since. You're right - life isn't fair. :(

  7. What a beautiful story. Aimee sounds like an incredibly gracious person. *hugs to you and Rowan*

  8. that's such an amazing and sweet story. Sounds like you're a part of a very strong and generous family.

  9. Caroline, that story says so much about Aimee and what a generous and kind person she was. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Claire and I are SO looking forward to seeing you and Rowan. :)

  10. My heart and thoughts go out to you and your family. I lost my father during the holidays so I understand how unfair life can be. Aimee sounds like a beautiful person. Keep her lovely spirit alive by sharing her stories through your gift of writing.

  11. Ever since your post about what happened I have really been thinking a lot. Mostly about how fragile life is, and how quickly it can be taken away. It makes me what to cherish every moment i have with those I love, because they can be gone at any moment. My thoughts and prayers are still with you guys, and little Rowan

  12. What a beautiful story Caroline! We can't stop thinking about you all. Rowan couldn't have a better support system in you and Justin, and I'm so glad that you've been able to stay out there. Love on Rowan as much as you can. Hugs all around!

  13. Anonymous1:06 PM

    I was Aimee and Justin's next door neighbor in Indiana. It was truly heartbreaking to hear of Aimee's death. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and Justin. We are praying for the whole family. Please tell Justin that all of you are in our prayers and thoughts, we send many hugs. Aimee was an amazing person, and will always be remembered. From, Melissa Weber

  14. I just read your blog and I'm heart hurts for your family's loss! What a tragedy and I hope that you are all finding peace and comfort during this tough time!!! I can't imagine how difficult this would be! You will be in my prayers! Loves!

  15. Caroline, I didn't see either of these posts until just now and I am so, so, so incredibly sorry for you and your family. I'll be keeping you and beautiful Rowan and everyone else in my thoughts.

  16. I'm so sorry I'm so late in hearing this news. I cant imagine how horrible that must have been for your family. I hope this new year brings peace for you and Justin and his family. I'll be thinking about you and sending a hug your way. Love ya.