One of my fellow R-MWC sisters lost her six-year-old daughter in Friday’s tragedy.
This is Catherine Hubbard. Although I didn’t know her (or her mother who graduated 6 years before me), I feel like we all would have been fast friends. She was an animal lover who dreamed of opening her own animal shelter, one of the most selfless and toughest jobs I can imagine. And she had red hair, Frances’s favorite. Frances would have idolized her and I would have praised her choice in future careers. Her mother asked that in lieu of flowers her daughter be honored through the local Newton, CT. animal shelter. So, today I made a donation to The Animal Center in Catherine’s name and on behalf of Frances. Even in her wake of indescribable grief, Catherine’s mother has given us bystanders a way to feel a hint less helpless. No doubt, her beautiful daughter was following in her noble mother’s footsteps—both of them Macon women to the core.
I’m having a lot of trouble getting over what happened last Friday. When I’m alone, my thoughts are wandering and my eyes are watering. Constantly. I keep thinking about Catherine’s mother and all of the other parents. As I go about my day, I’m noticing more and more my children’s small things that have crept into my everyday life—the family pictures in each room, Frances’s hairbands tossed in my purse, George’s tiny Buzz Lightyear underpants waiting to be folded in the dryer, the Christmas gifts hidden not-so-slyly throughout the house. I keep thinking about the parents of those children who will discover the same small things and how much their hearts will break each and every time. The premade snack bags that won’t get eaten. The toothbrush that is no longer needed. The forgotten pebble or stick absent-mindedly tossed into a coat pocket while at the playground. To find these sweet, small reminders of your sweet, small child for weeks or months to come must be beyond brutal.
In honor of their small things, my family made a small donation. I wish we could give more—much, much more. But, like many small things, it is given with the greatest of love and hope. I also made a silent request to our Max to greet Catherine with his warmest of wet kisses. I know they will get along famously—he is partial to sweet little girls.