Going through my ordeal, I had a lot of time to think. A LOT of time. One place my mind continued to return to was my children. It brought me back to the last month I spent with my Mom before she died. Something I don't think I could have ever grasped without experiencing this hiccup in my health was the fear she felt about us, her kids, upon her departure from this physical earth. I know she didn't fear dying in the sense of where she was going, in fact I think a part of her looked forward to seeing her parents again. But there was this look she had when she would look at us, her kids; a look created by an emotion of which I have now felt an inkling. She was worried about US. What would happen to us after she was gone. What has she left untaught? On what experiences would she miss out? Would she miss the opportunity to hear "Mom, you were right?" a couple more times?
Not knowing what was going on with my health, I spent some time thinking about these same things. Not the bread and butter stuff about how they would get to school or piano lessons, or if they had their homework signed. I thought about the long term stuff, the stuff that isn't really fitting to discuss at their current ages, but they eventually need to know.
For instance, I have not yet told my boys to NEVER sleep with a woman before his wedding night. This isn't for the obvious reasons most would think. They need to know that NO woman can ever, ever, ever know just how badly they each grind their teeth and thrash around in their sleep before she is legally bound to one of them. I worry that they will end up as eternal bachelors because the exhaustion a woman will endure trying to catch some REM sleep will be grounds for terminating an otherwise great relationship. They need to know that on any flight they fly on, they will be asked to stow everyone in their area's bag in the overhead compartment. So they should just expect it. They will need to know that the highest shelf in the bathroom is not the acceptable place to store the toilet paper, even if it makes perfect sense to them and is easy for them to reach. They need to know that many will try to squash their sparkle, and they will tell them to be tough and stoic. They need to know a kind and empathetic heart will make them vulnerable, but it will be worth it. And so it doesn't take until they are 35 to figure this out, like it did with their father, if a girl walks all the way to your apartment (which is the complete opposite direction of hers) and then offers to bake you cookies at her apartment, SHE LIKES YOU. Oh, and listen to your sister's opinions about potential girlfriend because she will have insight that only a woman possesses.
For my daughter, there are so so many things I would want her to know. Things about life, love, pregnancy, marriage... the list goes on and on. For her, I think it may require a book. I've mulled over the idea of a writing a book for a while, but never much more than just a fleeting thought. That was until I went through my crippled chicken-walker phase. And maybe that is what was to come of that whole event, my rediscovery of my love for writing.
For about 2 months, my family weathered an unknown storm, and now in the aftermath, I continue to process the experience (which by the way was finally called an Atypical Migraine resulting in physical manifestations, or in my kids' words ' A really, really, really, really, really, really bad headache.') I know that life is too short to leave things undone or unsaid. So, soon I hope to start to put words to paper (or in reality, fingers to the keyboard) and start expressing the ideas that have played in my head for a while. A written record of advice for my daughter, and all young girls really, to use as they navigate through the murky and hormonally driven existence of their teens to twenties. So stay tuned as I begin the adventure of writing a book!