Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you…

I always thought that line always sounded a little harsh, but I’ve realized over the last few weeks how very thankful I am to not be suffering like so many others in the world. (The line still sounds harsh, though.)

Almost every time I walk into the break room at work, CNN is running a story about parents in China who have lost their only children in this month’s earthquake. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. They’ve called it “China’s Lost Generation”, and it truly is. Here, the government limited the number of offspring per couple to just one, and now, in one fell swoop, that generation has practically been decimated.

Yesterday, I watched a mother, almost carried by her husband, walk the streets near the wreckage of a school, clinging to a photograph of her daughter and weeping uncontrollably. It’s been more than two weeks, and she wants so desperately to believe that her child is alive and just waiting to be rescued. It’s almost akin to those families waiting by the phone after the World Trade Center fell, only worse because there isn’t an enemy to blame for the loss of your loved one.

Every time I think of these people, these families, these mothers, I choke back tears and resist the urge to rush to my son’s school, drink in that smile he smiles just for me, and hug him and smother him with more kisses than I could possibly count, and then kiss him some more. But I wait until I get home to cuddle him and listen to him babble about his day, and I thank God every night when I check on my slumbering boy that we had a day together, and I thank Him again in the morning that we have the promise of another one.

I wouldn’t wish this agony on anyone, but I do thank God it’s not me suffering. And my heart breaks for all of those who are.

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