...Not because I want them to, but because it is the scariest thing to me that I can possibly imagine next to one of my children or husband. It keeps me up at night. It makes me feel like I cannot breathe..this crippling, paralyzing realization that one day I will be without them. How can I survive that? How can I go on? How can I stop this? Why can’t I stop this?
What if I do not get the chance to tell them everything that I wanted to tell them…like thank you for all of the wonderful things they have done for me because in my older years I focus too much on what they should have done, but never did? What if another day passes by that I forgot to think of them, wondering if they are OK, as they have thought of me everyday since the day I was born. What if I started to regret all of the times that I was mad at them for their choices to pick their own happiness over mine because they have carried that feeling of guilt for all of those years, and I never wanted them to.
What if I didn’t feel annoyed when they needed my help in their older years because I felt too busy in my own life to be selfless, like they were my whole life. I would think as a parent now, I can understand that when I am feeling broken, I would hope my children would do the same. Perhaps I could have been more patient with their needs…it isn’t too late to start now because one day I will say it is too late…… because…
in time they could become faded memories of the times that they would hold me at night when I was scared, whisking away the feeling of the unknown just by a kiss and a hug telling me it will be OK…if I needed them, they would be in the next room beside me…and when that is gone, and when I can’t go into the next room to find them there, to guide me the way, to pave the way for my own children…lessons still needed learned…where do I go?
Where do I go to trust, to feel unconditional love, to feel safe, someone to kiss my boo boos in the greatest of despairs, when the falls have been too hard for me to be able to heal for myself. Who will be there to cover the mistakes with Band-aids, reminding me that tomorrow I may not fall…so do not give up…and to continue on..
Can they tell me those things when they are gone? Will I see them when I am dreaming or when I am weeping? Will they see my joy, my tears and whisk away my fears from a wind that blows across my face or by an animal seen fleeting? Will they know that I will feel lost and alone…that when I look at my children, I will remember the first time that they held my child’s hand the day they were born….
…I cannot imagine this day. I look around and see others who have…my own parents who have lost their parents and have experienced the same….with only pictures and memories in their hearts that cannot be replaced nor repeated…and when my children grow older and when they start having children, I will show them pictures, telling them of my own memories from when I was little that they will never truly understand, but they will listen and they will learn by watching the ways that I have carried down the same traditions as they…the same lessons and the same love as I had received…
.. and they will ask me questions like what happens when you go to Heaven, and I will say to them…”Heaven is where those that love you are…and you won’t have to look too far, not even the next room…but right there”…and I will put my hand on their small heart….”because this is where I will always be…even when I’m gone”..just like parents have said to me.
Be true, be you…and love the ones you are with.