I don't often think of when I was 17... In fact, if I did take the time to think about it... I would probably say that I was pretty carefree, more responsible than most, and proud of who I was and spent my time around.
However, when I *DO* think of the age of 17, I think of my youngest brother, Nick, because that is the age he was when our mother died...
This is also the age my youngest son, Sam, is now...I simply can't imagine not being here for him.
It honestly makes me weep if I think about it.
My mother's death was sudden - a car crash on icy roads. I fully understand there is never a "good" time to die - to leave your children... but to me, age 17 is not it.
At age 17, you are no longer a child, but you are also not an adult. There is still SO much you have to learn about life and love and family.
At age 17, your biggest concerns should be college visits, school dances, and Friday night football games... Not burying your mother. Not carrying the burden of her death. Not being alone.
...I jokingly tell my children that I'm going to live to be 105 because by that time they will be ready for me to go... that and because it's not 17.