Life With Ladybug: For Wendy

By Shannon Magsam

All day yesterday — as I visited the Botanical Gardens and Gulley Park and the ice cream store with my husband, sister-in-law and Ladybug — I kept thinking about Wendy.

Wendy died Saturday after battling an aggressive cancer for less than a year.  She was only 34. She is survived by her husband, Jon, and their two little boys. As I walked in the Northwest Arkansas sunshine, I kept thinking how unfair it was that I was enjoying the day with my family while her family grieved. While her babies tried to understand why their mother would not be coming home from the hospital this time.

Although we didn’t know each other really well, Wendy and I have been part of the same local MOMS Club for years. And, more importantly, we are both mothers.  I ache at the thought of how she must have grieved when she understood she’d have to leave her little boys behind.

Wendy was an arts administrator and a Springdale High School graduate. She received a bachelor of arts in music from the University of Arkansas and a master of arts in administration from Florida State. She loved music and was a board member of the Arkansas Winds, where she played the French horn.

One MOMS Club mother summed up our feelings in an e-mail to the group:

“My 3-year-old took the news as you would expect. She asked me, “Why?” and then gave me a big hug and a kiss. But my other daughter, who is almost 5, took it harder. I told her that Wendy had died, and she stared at me for several moments.

Her eyes welled with tears and she asked me in a broken voice, “Does that mean that J. and B. don’t have a mama anymore?”

“It does,” I replied.

“But how can they live without their mama?” she sobbed.

I don’t know the answer to that. How thankful I am for every moment I have with my children, even the heartbreaking ones.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for making me cry… that is heartbreaking, but I know this is the reality of this world we live in.

    So, I just went and smelled my youngest daughter’s hair. I don’t ever want to forget that smell. 🙂

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