Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I could die

I don't know why this realization hit me this morning, or what it means, but it felt like something I needed to blog about. First, let's back up a few steps...

Last night I had this flash of insane need to find the onesie I bought for Alex with the green frogs on it. I have no idea what brought it on, but I asked Steve to run down to the basement to find it for me. Our basement is quite the disaster these days with boxes, carseats, strollers, and the like, once sitting upstairs all cleaned up and ready to go for baby #2, now hastily thrown down there to be hidden so I didn't have to look at them. So as you can imagine, my little freak out was actually a feat of epic proportions for my poor husband. He looked and looked and looked. I knew the box the darn thing was in and it just wasn't in the basement. I could see him, frantically searching, ready to break into tears himself because he couldn't provide the aforementioned onesie.

I, for some reason, had one niggling thought that maybe the missing box was upstairs with the crib. So I ventured up there on my own, did indeed find the box with the onesie right on top, and high-tailed it out of there before having a complete meltdown. The nursery is far from done. In fact it still sits in exactly the same condition as it did the day before Alex died. I think it is that unfinished setup that upsets me. But I digress. I came downstairs with the onesie in hand and told Steve it was upstairs. His reaction? "Thank God." See...I TOLD you he was upset.

Anyway...during our search for the wayward onesie, I found a blanket I had also bought for Alex. It's green and has a cute little giraffe and the word, "Baby," quilted onto it. It's so soft, and it's brand new, and I had to pull it out of the box to have with me. Don't ask me why...Alex never even saw the stupid thing. But I'm apparently suffering some sort of weird mental break, so I had to have it. I put it on top of my wardrobe with the stuffed dog (like the one I bought for Alex that was buried with him).

Oy! This is taking a long time to tell...but I'm thinking all these pieces are important somehow.

This morning I got to sleep in because it's my day off with Sam. I woke up early because I have a headache. Which reminds me, I have to go take some Advil. Be right back...

OK. Headache disposal in progress.

So this morning, I'm lying awake in bed contemplating the meaning of the universe when my eyes come to rest on that blankie and stuffed doggie. I start thinking of Alex buried in the cemetery with his doggie and a blankie I crocheted for him. Then I get to thinking about the other babies in the cemetery and how they are all sort of buried in a couple of groups, but Alex is off by himself because we chose to buy three plots together...a family plot, if you will.

Then it hit me! I could die!

Here I am, trying to work past this grief and learn to cope in everyday life. I'm planning on buying books to learn about stillbirth so I can make an informed decision about whether I want to try to have another baby. I'm looking around for better job opportunities. I'm thinking about Sam starting school in a couple years. But there is no guarantee that I will get to do ANY of that. My headstone could have another sixty, thirty, or two years on it. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. (I've often used that phrase before and never really contemplated what it meant.) That spot in Mount Pleasant Cemetery is waiting for me...whenever. And there is no way to tell when I will end up there.

I'm a bit shaken by this thought. I have done a lot of things in my 33 years that I am glad I did. But there is so much more to do. As I've said many times before to friends and family...I want my life to be gloriously full of committments and responsibilities and complications. But there are two thoughts I'm left with if I choose a life like that. First, if I die tomorrow, will I be able to say that my life was full enough? Or will people look at my life and say, "It's a shame she never got to......(whatever).......before she died"? And second, if I die tomorrow, will my gloriously full life cause undue complication for those who love me? Have I faced up to my real adult responsibilities and provided for my family's future?

I'm sad to admit right now that the answers to both questions is no.

I have not lived a life that is full enough. There are so many things I have wanted to do with my life that I haven't done because of fear. I'm afraid of risk and change and all that fun stuff that comes with a gloriously full life. I have played it relatively safe. Sure, I have built a pretty full life...but if I look deep down and am really honest, I have to admit that there are still things left to do.

I have not provided for a future for my family. I have no life insurance. I have no funeral arrangements. I don't even have a will and I'm a freakin attorney! And if, God forbid, Steve AND I die, I have made no provisions for Sam. I need to start planning for a real future that includes the possibility of death...instead of this dream I've been living in all this time.

I don't want to leave this world with just unused onesies and blankies.


Anonymous said...

Your sister the accountant recommends Suze Orman's "9 Steps to Financial Freedom." Get it, read it, USE it.

Catherine said...

lol...thanks. I can always count on the Bashams to be practical. :o)

Shouldn't you be working?

Julie said...

Isn't it amazing how suddenly and clearly that realization that you COULD and someday WILL die? But you know, if our babies could be yanked away from us before they got to live up to their potential, then what makes us so different?? Losing a child makes death a VERY real thing. Really makes you think (as cheesy and cliche as it sounds) of your own mortality.

As far as the blanket and the onsie, yeah I did stuff like that to. Even after Evan was born, there were certain things of Caleb's that were NOT to be shared, which made no sence, especially since half of it still had tags on it, and Caleb never even SAW the stuff.

Holley said...

If it helps, I still have a baby blanket that I was cross stitching for Lucas (the nephew). I just can't imagine finishing it for any other child even though he never saw it. Lucas has been gone six years and I still haven't taken it out of the box I put it in shortly after he died.

Julie said...

We buried Nick with the beautiful blanket daddy knitted for him, and a cheap little blue bear from dollar general that said the "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer. I picked out the cutest little onsie that I previously couldn't wait to snuggle him in, and laid him to rest in that. I wish we'd have kept the blanket, though, just because it was so wonderful, and daddy spent so much time working on it every night for weeks on end. He's already said he won't ever do that again. I guess somewhere in my mind I think it would be nice to have it if we ever did try again. Not that it really matters, in the scheme of things. It's just sad.