On the way to church last week, E and I had the misfortune of passing a recreational lake as they were pulling a dead body out of the spillway area. The body had been covered, but of course, E had a lot of questions about how the person died. Not knowing anything about the person, but knowing the area, I told her it was probably a homeless person.
We talked a little about the perils that might befall a homeless person and cause his or her death. After a moment of silence, E let out a big sigh and said, "Mommy, there is just so much sadness in my life." I didn't know what to say. She is after all, 7, how much sadness can there be? So I asked her why she said that. To which she replied, "Because Mommy, how am I going to help ALL of these people?"
I thought about that. She's 7. Have I really put the weight of the world on her shoulders? Should she be worried about these things at this age? Can she help "all of these people?" In the end I simply answered, "E, you help one person at a time and you never assume someone else is going to do it." And she seemed to be okay with that answer. But I also realized, my daughter really is in this world to change it. And I guess she's going to drag me along, too.
On that note, tomorrow is Epiphany. It is also the fourth anniversary of my friend, Christi's death. She was a great person who lived her life in such a manner as to change the world. It didn't matter to her if you were gay, straight, black, white, rich or poor. If you needed her, she was there. She lived simply so that she could afford to help others. She quietly provided Christmas to 3 other families each year. She spoke out when people were being treated poorly and she would give her coat away to a homeless person saying she could always buy another one, even if it was 20 degrees at the time. I don't think I'll ever get over her death. So each year on Epiphany I try to do one small thing to change the world. This year, will you join me?