Thank you for your wonderfully supportive comments on my last entry. Thank you, so much.


I was dorking around on this weekend, having discovered the ability to search by your graduating high school class – holy crap! – and I started getting search-happy, I was trying to think of every blast from the past imaginable and at one point I typed in the name of a guy I dated once upon a time. I thought of him for no other reason than he had a unique first-and-last-name combo, and the results I got were startling.

He’s dead. He died in 2003.

And get this, he died not from a car wreck or from doing drugs or – I don’t know, something that would make this a more digestible fact for me, but he died from sudden heart failure, while out running one day on the Oregon coast. I mean, can you imagine a more wholesome, less-likely-to-kill-you-dead activity?

He left behind a son, just a little boy. Jesus.





Riley started crawling about a week ago, and now he’s a marvel to behold. This weekend he has alternately amazed and terrified me as he figured out all sorts of things, like how he can move at a disturbingly fast speed on the tip-tops of his knees, or how the hearth provides an excellent shelf on which to pull himself to a standing position.

I just can’t believe how fast he’s growing. I just want to be here for all of it, every stage.

Is it possible I’ll be that lucky? Can it possibly be that I’ll be here to see it all?





38 Responses to “Crossing all appendages”

  1. Lucy on July 16th, 2006 8:31 pm

    I have to say I didn’t think my heart would jump the way it just did seeing him crawling and standing.

    But it did.

    So when I try and imagine your position and I think my heart would explode.

    My fingers are crossed.

  2. Jem on July 16th, 2006 8:53 pm

    That’s so incredibly sad. RIP.

  3. Samantha on July 16th, 2006 9:53 pm

    It’s funny, I always get weepy when I see little ones doing things like crawling or stading for the first time… seeing Riley crawling was no exception.

  4. fifi on July 17th, 2006 12:41 am

    Running can kill you, if you didn’t know you had a weak heart, as can cycling uphill. The father of some (grownup) boys I knew, died at the roadside while on a cycling holiday. I wrote to express my condolences, and I got a beautiful letter back from one of them. His father had died, surrounded by friends, doing something he loved, he said. Sudden death is shocking for the bereaved, but is a death at eighty, or seventy, in a hospital bed, (or worse, totally alone), something we’d all aspire to?

    I love the determined look your boy has, crawling! And how cute are those feet, braced to push?

  5. Jeanette on July 17th, 2006 5:48 am

    Riley remains the cutest baby on the internet!!! Love the baby cheeks!!!

    Am I missing something? Sounds like you’re trying to work it out to be a stay-at-home-mom. If that’s the case, I hope everything works out for you!

  6. zu on July 17th, 2006 5:50 am

    wow-beautiful floors!

  7. HollowSquirrel on July 17th, 2006 6:50 am

    Sorry to hear about your friend. As for Riley, I love the look of determination on his face. You most certainly are in trouble, my dear.

  8. jonniker on July 17th, 2006 7:14 am

    It’s so hard to see that kind of news, no matter who it is. I mean, just the other day, I got all worked up because some woman up the street whom I’d bought a *vacuum* from a few months back died suddenly of an ‘unexpected’ illness (are they ever expected? Sheesh). I spent the next few hours/days following my husband around to make sure he didn’t have any suspicious moles or labored breathing or…I don’t know. Something, because I was suddenly so scared. And this woman *sold me a vacuum*. It’s not like I knew her. I guess my point is that it’s all so fragile sometimes and when you think about it too much you can drive yourself crazy. Or at least I can.

    Anyway. I contend that Riley is the cutest child on the face of the Internet, and my husband – who generally shows little interest in blogging or bloggers, um, even me – agrees wholeheartedly and *always* leans over my shoulder to ask “Who’s that kid again? Cute.”

    He is. He looks so wise beyond his years for an eleven month-old, doesn’t he? Don’t you expect him to come out and say something witty in those photos?

  9. Kaire on July 17th, 2006 7:23 am

    It’s the end of the world as you know it …. bwaaaaaaa ha ha ha! Gorgeous kiddo & I’ll take your stomach over mine ANY DAY!

  10. justmouse on July 17th, 2006 7:32 am

    isn’t it such a jolt when you read/hear about stuff like that? i mean, i know i’m not a kid anymore..but in my head all those people are just how i saw them last – 18 and carefree. when i hear about them dying, and that maybe they were married and had kids…it’s just so shocking, and unimaginable, and a definate shot of reality. and then, of course, my mind goes in all those scary places i don’t want it to..just as yours did, and i start to panic a little bit, and think maybe i didn’t read to him enough, or play with him enough, or take enough pictures, or kiss his cheek enough….i mean, what if i lose him RIGHT NOW? or what if he loses me RIGHT NOW?? will it have been enough??? gosh. sundry…how is it you are so damn good at putting into words all the things i am thinking and feeling? riley is lucky to have a mum like you. you have realized just how important life is while there is still time to live it. it’s amazing how many people don’t see it all until it’s too late.

  11. sundry on July 17th, 2006 7:52 am

    Jeanette: stay at home what? No, I meant I didn’t want to die a young and tragic death, leaving behind my son to grow up without a mother. You know, because I like the pointless worrying.

  12. Pete on July 17th, 2006 8:55 am

    I seriously thought about death for the first time when I was around 45. I came up with the conclusion that I am really going to miss me. Being a pagan heathen I don’t hold on to the illusion of an afterlife but I can see why people do. The notion that in an instant all your thoughts, experiences, memories, everything will be gone for ever is disquieting. I guess that is one reason for kids, a piece of us lives on (pull my finger). After hearing my wife and I talk about life insurance my youngest (8) said he was afraid of death. I told him you shouldn’t fear death, just a wasted life. Sorry to hear about your friend.
    PS You might consider knee pad for Riley, help keep those great looking floors clean.

  13. Shawna on July 17th, 2006 8:56 am

    Running may be “wholesome” but I can think of less-likely-to-kill-you-dead activities for sure. I run the 10K for charity at the Ottawa Race Weekend ( every year, but at least once someone has dropped dead at the finish line after running the marathon. And I agree, it is hard and terrifying to imagine missing out on the life of our kids now that we have ’em and even more hard and awful to imagine anything happening to THEM. Heck, I’m so clumsy I’m a teensy bit afraid every time I walk down the stairs carrying mine.

  14. Kristen on July 17th, 2006 9:17 am

    That’s so sad. That same year, the boy I went on my first date with died of lung cancer–and he had never smoked. We’re too young to be losing people our age, but here we go anyway.

  15. Annie on July 17th, 2006 10:06 am

    I’m so sorry about your friend.

    That is one motivated crawler you’ve got there. The look of determination is priceless.

  16. fellowmom on July 17th, 2006 10:16 am

    So much to comment on, but I’ll just say this: your floors? Are gorgeous.

  17. victoria on July 17th, 2006 10:43 am

    Good lord, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Jesus. His poor family.

  18. Shelly on July 17th, 2006 5:05 pm

    Aww the cute cross-eyed concentration is just TOO CUTE!! As for the previous boyfriend, there isn’t much to say. I just hope his family is alright.
    YAY for cute as can be milestones!

  19. Kristin on July 17th, 2006 10:08 pm

    Man, that picture of your friend and his baby choked me up. So sad.

    Also: apparently the Riley Exploration of Disaster and Ruckus-Causing has commenced. Be afraid. It is possibly more harrowing than tusk development and the dinosaur bird screech combined.

    (But man, Linda, he is SO cute!)

  20. angela on July 18th, 2006 1:39 pm

    1.) i’ve fallen into the Look Up Random People On Myspace trap as well. it consumes me. i made my profile nearly unsearchable, until recently. been busted by the internet one too many times.
    2.) the BF and i have both recently discovered that random people from our past have suddenly died. so weird.
    3.) i love riley’s “crawling face.”
    4.) the floors look awesome.

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