Two Sides of the Same Coin

I am not superstitious at all, but I have to admit that this past Friday, the 13th had “bad luck” written all over it. What should have been an ordinary day went downhill when I got to C’s preschool to pick her up. As usual, I signed her out, met her at the playground fence and took her to the bathroom. Then we walked over to her cubby to retrieve her beloved chick toy that she brings to school every day.

Chicky going for a bike ride with C.

We always find it sitting inside the white painted cube, its round black eyes watching out for C to come over and joyfully scoop it up. This day though, it was no where to be found. My heart dropped as soon as I saw the empty cubby.

“Where’s Chicky?!” C asked anxiously.

We looked everywhere for that chick. In all the cubbies, on the floor, in the classrooms. We also asked the teachers and the office staff if they had seen it. With each passing minute, I could see the worry growing on C’s face. I felt her little hand tighten around mine as she began to whimper. Even though she was trying to be brave and hopeful, I could tell she was on the verge of tears.

I felt so helpless in that moment. And upset. Sure, I know Chicky is an inanimate object and can be replaced, but I also understand how much it has meant to C. She has loved and cared for this toy every day for almost two years, which to her is half a lifetime. Chicky has gone everywhere with our family – on vacations, to doctor’s appointments and restaurants and has slept in our bed every night. I knew this was a great loss for C. And as the reality of her loss began to sink in, she became more inconsolable as the day passed.

C sobbed at nap time that afternoon. As we lay on the bed beside her watching helplessly, E whispered to me, “Mom, what do we do?”

His genuine concern for his sister touched me. I sighed and replied, “I don’t know. Hopefully someone will find Chicky.” We had gone back to school earlier that day to hang up “Lost Chick” signs by the classroom, but now it was just a waiting game.

E thought for a moment and then said, “I know, let’s ask Bob (short for Baba) to buy her something before he comes home.” I nodded enthusiastically at his plan and gave him my phone to text hubby.

Hubby came home later with a stuffed blue bird. C brightened up a little at the sight of this new friend, but only until bedtime when she again cried herself to sleep.

I confided in hubby the next day about how unfair and sad the situation was. “Why would God let this happen to C? She’s so young and innocent. It breaks my heart to watch her cry!”

Then I sighed as a thought went through my mind. “The only bright side to this is seeing E be so nice to her.”

Her big brother had really stepped up his game to cheer her up. He’s usually kind to her (when he’s not teasing or harassing her), but on the day when he found out Chicky was missing, he kept thinking of ways to console her. He had offered to lend her one of his stuffed animals to keep until Chicky was found again. And I had witnessed him reach over and give C a long hug at bedtime.

Sigh. I don’t like it, but I have to admit that good can come out of the bad. And if you really think about it, if it were not for the bad things in life, we might not ever experience the good. Goodness – lived out in the forms of compassion, generosity and empathy – thrives the most where loss, pain and sadness exist. Such irony, isn’t it? But such harmony as well. The good and the bad are like two sides of the same coin.

This truth has brought some comfort to my heart. I hope it does the same for you.

I love Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water“, which talks about being there for a friend in need, something I was blessed to see lived out by our son this week. This cover by Tessanne Chin (who just got crowned as the winner of The Voice) is just amazing.

How have you seen good come out of the bad in your life?

P.S. I am very thankful that we only lost a toy and it was not anything worse. There are many other children out there who have experienced way more traumatic things, such as serious illness and loss. My heart goes out to them and their parents. I do not presume to even know what they are going through. I was just sharing my thoughts as a parent who hates to see her child in any kind of pain.

P.P.S. We think we know where Chicky is (it was last seen with a younger sibling of one of C’s classmates). We are just waiting to hear back from the family. Will keep you all posted! 🙂

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