Life is hard.

We want to shield our kids from the hurts of this world.

But we can’t.

For the last three semesters of college, Erica has had an art professor she absolutely loved. “Joe,” as the professor instructed the kids to call him, had been that professor who had inspired Erica to begin thinking about the possibility of getting her Master’s Degree so she could “teach like Joe teaches.” When classes started last week, Erica was so looking forward to Joe’s art class once again!

It’s not often that a parent gets to meet their college student’s professors, but I had the opportunity to meet Joe last Spring. He was very helpful and accommodating during Erica’s health challenges. His Art History class was the only class she actually took an incomplete in last semester. She needed to finish two major tests and Joe told her to just get them done over the summer.

She took one in July and one last Thursday afternoon. Early Friday morning, Joe was brutally murdered.

Yes, you read that right. Wow, people we know don’t usually get brutally murdered.

This has been hard. Erica didn’t have classes on Friday so today was the first day she had to walk into the classroom Joe taught in. She had another art class in the same classroom. Tomorrow she should be going to Joe’s class. But she’ll be going to his funeral instead.

Even though Erica is nearly 19, I’m still her mom. And as her mom I don’t want to see her hurt. But this is a hurt that can’t be fixed with a bandaid. I can’t kiss away the hurt. I can listen. I can hug. I can be there. But grief will take time and she’ll have to work through it in her own way.

Sometimes life is hard. And there’s nothing a mom can do about it at all.

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