If I’m Not Here When You’re Grown

email pictureThis image has been floating around Facebook for the past few days and I love the idea. Today, I set up emails for both boys and shot off the first email, complete with descriptions of what they were doing right when I was typing it. Typical for my two little men, #2 was fussing because I wouldn’t hold him and his teeth hurt (those top two are racing to see which can come in first), and #1 had scratched a bump on his thigh and made it bleed. He was also scolding me for forgetting to put his pizza crust from last night into a container. Shame on me, I should have tossed it and not left it out all night, but it was cute watching him waddle around with his pjs around his ankles, wiggling his finger and trying to hold toilet paper onto his “wound.”

The email, though, hit a strange nerve with me. As I wrote it to my 18-year old sons, a part of me wanted to cry. I have no guarantee that either of us will be there on the other side of that email. 14 years, 18 years… That’s a long time to pray that fate doesn’t change course. With all of these stories flooding our Facebook walls and Yahoo pages about parents dying or children passing away, it left me shaken. Even more, it made me think of my husband’s father.

We don’t know when death will come. It could be today, tomorrow, or 40 years from now. What’s even scarier is that we have absolutely no control over it. Just like my husband’s father, we don’t know how the decisions of those around us will affect us. Maybe it will be nothing we did, but something someone else did that ripples over onto us. Maybe it will be our body giving out. I don’t know. All I know is that my next breath is not guaranteed.

With that heavy thought in mind, I just recorded a video of my boys. #1 just explained five water color drawings he made, while #2 drooled cereal out of his mouth. I don’t have enough pictures or videos for those what-if scenarios. I won’t dwell on what hasn’t happened yet, but I want to make sure I have memories stored. Whether it is for sharing when they’re grown or for looking back on when one of us is gone, I want to have something. I need to have something.

These emails are just one more way for me to let my boys hear my voice. If, God forbid, something should happen to me, I hope that they can go through those emails and hear how much I loved them. I hope they can see us playing together, learning together, and growing together. I hope that they will never doubt how much they mean to me, and that they never forget my face for lack of pictures. Most of all, though, I hope I am with them, reading through it and laughing about it all when that 18th birthday rolls around.

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