There has been some horrible news reported lately.

I'm not one to let the evening news depress me, though that would be easy enough, but the last few days have been particularly tough, and I can't seem to wrap my head around how life can literally change in an instant.

From the tragedy of the little nine-year-old New York boy brutally murdered while walking home from day camp to the devastating car accident in Texas that killed two loving parents and left their two young sons paralyzed and a daughter injured have affected me as nothing has in quite some time.

Life can change in an instant.

We know that. We've been told that. We semi-embrace it and prepare for it as much as one can. But we never fully expect it. It cannot really happen to us. But it can.

And these two recent headlines hit me like a ton of bricks at how quickly our world can change. I think it's when you become a parent that you fully understand how fragile time is. Just to be able to take back a moment to make everything right again is the real super power we all want to have. If only.

As I fumbled through my day yesterday, trying to absorb all of this, I realized that I had to dig deep to fight off the depression that was forming. I couldn't shake the image of the mother of the young boy waiting for her son to walk the quick few blocks home from his camp and feeling her pain when her anticipation turned to concern and her concern into horror.

My mind would then race to the three young children, without their parents, recovering from life-changing injuries in a strange hospital. Just the day before they were returning home from a family vacation when the horrible accident occurred.

In the end though, I had to realize and reconfirm my belief that life is good. Embracing that thought is the only way to cope. Out of these tragedies, good things have happened.

Communities have taken over, fundraising has begun, people from the all over the world are offering hope, prayers and assistance and these families will know that they are never alone.

I would hope that, should the unthinkable happen in my family, good would ultimately take over. That compassion and untimately peace would win.

I would hope that these horrific events will show that we are a better world than we are often portrayed. We cannot be judged by tragedy, but how we recover and prevail.

I would hope that I could lean on my friends and family and that my children would always be looked after. That there would always be someone to tell them that they are loved, to comfort them when they are tired, to cheer them on when they are doing well and to direct them when they are lost.

I would hope that I again take this opportunity to appreciate what means most to all of us. Time. Truly, that is all we really have to create memories, to raise our children, to savor the good and walk through the bad.

I need to be thankful for the time I have been given and the time I hope to have. If not, then I trust that I made the most of what I was granted and made a difference to those I cherish.

Julie McGuire is a busy Lake Oswego mother of three children and a columnist for the Lake Oswego Review and West Linn Tidings. When she's not playing chauffeur she writes a blog, 'From the Mudroom,' at

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