over the last few days, i’ve been watching as tiny little freckles emerge one by one across my girl’s face, reminding me of the times i’ve watched stars do the same as night was coming on.
what firsts are you noticing lately?
Filed under child development, family life, kids, love
over the last few weeks i’ve been caring for my mom. she has lung cancer. i’ve noticed than when a parent is faced with death or at least a life threatening illness, you start to prioritize things differently in your own life because your death too is – if not imminent – unavoidable. i guess i always knew that but i never really KNEW it. that wasn’t really about being a parent. more about parenting a parent. still parenting, i guess.
I’m sorry to hear your mom is sick. Nothing like parenting a parent to make you feel like a grown up. How has it changed your priorities?
well…nothing has changed yet. but i’m here in philadelphia, far from my own home (SF) and my own family (husband and two boys) and i’m wondering what should i do when i go home? i work to support our family while my husband stays at home with our kids. i’ve always felt somehow more equipped to be the out-of-the-house, dealing-with-things, breadwinner. i have more mental toughness. or something. but i’ve always struggled with it as well. i wear my dad’s ‘its what you have to do’ responsibility hat plus i’ve always gotten some kind of satisfaction from the competition in the workplace. but here i am, nursing my mom, and i’m thinking, ‘what do i do now? i don’t want to spend any more time doing something i don’t REALLY want to do.’ because i too will die soon. not as soon. but soon nonetheless. so what now? i don’t want to be home with my kids all day either. i just don’t know what’s next.
What you said makes a lot of sense. The sudden realization that our time here is limited can throw a lot of stuff into question. I’ve been chewing on the fact that there are phases of my life that have already ended, like my twenties when I had so much time to myself. Never again or at least not ever in the same way. Makes me kind of sad.
jen, you’ve gone through such a huge ordeal, caring for your mom and bringing her through to the other side. i’m sure that facing your mom’s mortality (and in turn your own) changes you, forces you to reprioritize. i’ve been thinking about mortality a lot lately because of what you’ve been going through. it’s brutal to look at, but strangely invigorating at the same time. if i’m only here for such a short time, why the hell am i wasting it? it’s been inspiring me to try things that i’ve been wanting to do for a long time, to fix old relationships that need attention. although i must say that i am a terrible beginner. i hate being bad at things, at failing. that has always stopped me from going towards what i wanted before. but i’m trying to power through, to feel like the village idiot but to do it anyway. it will be interesting to see what you end up doing after all this. any ideas?
I love the image bubble that pops into my head from your words. I think you should expand, the universe of words willing. And my eyes would enjoy too.
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