A week ago, I had the distinct impression that I am going to die soon.
To clarify, Mormons use the word ‘impression’ lightly sometimes, and I believe I’m using it lightly here. At least, I hope I’m using it lightly. I mean, I am pregnant, which we all know can lead to irrational thoughts, and I’m hormonal, which leads to emotional outbursts. This all leads us to the moment when I was sitting across from my beautiful girls at Wendy’s, of all places, and I started sobbing.
Well, sobbing could be a strong word. I was quietly weeping. Tears were blurring my vision and a lump filled my throat to capacity as I tried to memorize every detail of my girls’ beings:
First, Claire: Her large, increasingly dark eyes. Her paint-chipped fingernails – a different color on each nail. Her long, silky hair pulled back into two amateur French braids.
Then, Avery: Her almond-shaped brown eyes with long, curly eye lashes. Her small face that somehow is still the full-face of a toddler. Her unruly curls slipping out of her pigtails to frame that face just so.
And, I cried some more. All this while Claire and Avery licked the last bits of chocolate frosty from their spoons.
Recently, it became clear to me for the first time that if a family is separated by death that it isn’t only the people who are left behind who mourn. Before the girls were born, Dustin and I would occasionally discuss what the other would do if one of us died. I always insisted that I wanted to die first. No way was I getting left behind on earth to finish out the rest of this life without him. I now believe with all my heart that those who pass on miss us just as intensely. Especially if that death was premature. And, the thought of being separated from my children for the rest of their lives . . . Well, it paralyzes me and causes me to sob in Wendy’s.
Nowadays, if Dustin and I talk about dying and what to do about it, I apologize to him beforehand and reiterate how strongly I love him, but he will just have to go first. I simply cannot leave my children without a mother.
This finds us back at the beginning of this babbling post. Last week I had a powerful thought that I could die at any time. (I guess that’s just a fact anyway.) Today, I shared the thought with Dustin. He laughed at first and then asked me to stop talking about it. But, I couldn’t let it go. I told him that if I do die that I’m going to haunt him. I’m not giving up without a fight. I’ll need him to get married fairly quickly to a woman who will love my children. A woman who will love him. How does one replace oneself? I almost wish I could hold try-outs now. Hmmmmm.
So, now you know what the pregnant woman eating a frosty at Wendy’s is really thinking about.