It smacked me in the face today. Yes, it’s been creeping up for some time. But, for some reason, I sat down to check on my online support group, and smack! This is the year. It may sound unlucky, with a 13 in it and all. But, this is the golden year! When I was told in late 2008 that my condition was terminal, I set my sights on THIS year. I have readjusted since, and added to my “to do” list, but THIS is the year that was my first goal. It has made me take a deep breath, heat up my cup of coffee (ugghh…so much for “so long joe”!), and bask in this sunny moment of realization.
Since September of 2008, I have helped teach two more of my four-pack how to drive. Check and check. I have seen two high school graduations. Check and check. I have moved two boys off to college. Check and check. I have helped guide one child into his own business (ok, mostly he’s done this on his own. But, I WAS the first to sit him down at a sewing machine! Against all odds, my SON has picked up on that passion!). Nonetheless, check! I have guided (?) three kids through their first and second loves. (Ok, I really just provided rides to soccer games and cinemas, and a few words of advice, not many…) Check, check, check. I have been here when my second daughter began her period (don’t tell her I mentioned this!) Check. I have done hundreds of loads of laundry, cooked many a meal, driven thousands of miles with and for these four kids and my husband. Check, check, check. I made it to our 25th wedding anniversary. Check.
Since September of 2008, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting New Hampshire, California, Washington, Washington DC, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, New York, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Italy and Croatia. I have raised my standing from princess to queen, for sure!!! Thank God for the AmEx frequent flyer program for making all that travel possible! (smooches John!)
I have spent plenty of hours resting on my laurels. I am not a person who needs to accomplish much in a day to feel “accomplished”. I don’t know if this is a good trait, I just know it is one of my traits. I have reflected on what I want to leave my kids with…both attitudinally and concretely. I have pondered how the household will run with John at the helm. I have thought about how my exit will go. I’ve considered what songs should be at my funeral. I wonder who will take care of my dog. And will I die before that blasted goldfish that’s already 10?
I have been abundantly blessed with the gift of time! True, I was young at diagnosis. A death now would be considered untimely, though I’ve been witness to much more untimely deaths than my own may be. But, not everyone who is told that she is incurable gets five years (or more?) to grasp the whole idea. As you have noticed, I’ve gone through a decent part of my bucket list. That list keeps growing, though! I have, at times, felt dreadfully sorry for myself. But, that’s such a waste of time, really. My plan is to keep planning. There’s a big world to see! My baby is still only 13. I have a lot of check marks yet to go.
Don’t forget to make the list….