My sweet girl told me on a random day that she would like to live to be 103 years old. Why she chose that number is a mystery, but nonetheless, that was the number. She asked me what age I wanted to live to be. I replied that I wanted to grow old but not to 103.
And there it was. The shift in her eyes. I saw the emotion wash over her face. It was like watching a curtain close over her joyful face. Darkness and sadness.
She was processing what I had said and I believe realized that if she is 103, and I do not want to live beyond that, I would be dead. Having gone through the death of her father, she knows what that emptiness feels like.
Watching her shift and seeing fear and darkness in her eyes, I had a thought that I never anticipated I would have and it startled me. For the last few weeks I have processing the thought and working through my own sadness and trying really hard to stay in the present.
~I hope that she dies first so that she doesn’t ever have to be alone.~
Years and years from now. I want a long life with her. I want to grow old and see her grow old too.
Memories came to me of several years ago when I was completing my clinical experience work during my training to become a CNA. Placed in a nursing home, mostly my tasks were helping elderly people and practicing the skills that I had learned. As I was walking down the hall, I saw a woman come from her room and I stopped in my tracks. She was not elderly, but more in her 50’s. In her arms was a collection of coloring books and crayons. She was developmentally delayed.
My heart sank. Would this be my girl’s outcome? If I died, would this be where she would end up?
Watching my girl shift and process the reality of my impermanence caused me to relive that sadness I felt on that day seeing the woman in the nursing home. It re-opened the fear and worry of her future.
For me, I am also processing the thought I had. I ask myself in the quiet moments, is it a mother’s deepest love to wish that her child not ever suffer sadness and loss or is it selfishness on my part and not having faith in her and her brothers to create a life of safety without me?