Recently, I've been contemplating the inevitable an awful lot ...
"But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." - Benjamin Franklin
And who are we kidding? I don't think about taxes!
After my dad died, I was plagued with thoughts of death. I thought about my own mortality, as well as that of everyone around me. I prayed then, and will my whole life, that I never have to see any of my children out of this world. I think we can all agree that would be the worst. I'm not really afraid to die, but hope I can hold on, for their sakes, as long as possible. Most of them can't even find their own underwear.
Thinking about death can be sad and not always good to dwell on, but it can sometimes be helpful.
It can help us express ourselves, live in the now and say what needs to be said. And what I want is for each of my children to know how special they are to me and how they have been my biggest adventure. I would change nothing about them. Well, maybe their ability to hear me! But I love them and all their idiosyncrasies.
Now most of us know, deep down, how lucky we are to have the kids that we do. So I tell this story, not to point out that we need to be more grateful, but to say what needs to be said:
Not that long ago I witnessed a mom saying goodbye to a child. This "child" was actually only a bit younger than myself and the mom was my parents' age, but a child is always a child. He was young and had a young family and, no, life isn't fair.
I stopped by to bring some food over because that's what we do when we have no idea what else to do. No grieving person wants food, but alas we bring the food as a sacrificial offering to say we care and to show our love.
As I make the food drop, I see his mom sitting by his bed. I try not stare or make eye contact, but as I see them together I remember something that makes me bite my lip and do everything I can to hold back the tears.
A long, long time ago, even before I started my family, this mom told me a story. She told me about tucking her kids in at night and how she would go to each one of them and whisper in their ear, "You are my favorite, but don't tell." And it became a thing in their family. One of those things that stick. And when I saw her sitting there with him I thought, "I bet that's what she will say."
And so I went home and held my own children tight and thought about how little time we have. If there is ever a time when we cannot be together, I want them to know that they have made my life complete and they will always have a piece of me with them, always. I love them to the moon and back.
AND they are all my favorite.