I found TheJackB blog through Copyblogger last week and am enjoying it. He’s a dad and writer. He writes about life, therefore all sorts of things. His recent entry – a “look-back” – got me looking back. It’s called “Will they know me? I am going to die” and here’s the link:
Having faced that question in a very real sense when diagnosed with leukemia and my children were 8 and 10 (again when they were 10 and 12) I came to the conclusion at the time that the only legacy I could leave my daughters was love. Yes, life is a Beatles song. It’s all about love.
In facing the grief of dying young, of being absent from their lives, I’m not sure my question was about legacy or them knowing me but about me not knowing them. Not being at the life party. In fact, I’m pretty sure that was the core.
When I looked around me at other moms facing death who were making videos, sharing family recipes, imparting wisdom, and writing birthday cards for years to come; I just felt paralyzed. Oh the pressure! How could I write to my daughters five or ten years from that moment when truly I wouldn’t know what they were dealing with at that time in their lives? Who they had grown to be and how they step out into the world? Would my perceptions of who they were at 8 and 10 be in harmony of who they felt themselves to be at 18 and 20? Could I potentially limit their hopes and dreams by holding them to their dead mom’s vision of them at 8 and 10? Could I possibly cause them disappointment because they hadn’t lived up to some fantasy of their mother’s? (As in…I know you can do anything you want! You can be on the national soccer team! You can be the first woman President!) It was all just too much. To face mortality AND give lifelong inspiration to my daughters at the same time.
So instead… I poured myself into them each day I was given; hoping love would somehow bridge the years should I die. *
I am so happy and grateful I got to stick around! My daughters continue to light up my life in ways I never could have imagined 15 years ago. And truly…love IS what it’s all about.
Check out TheJackB blog – I think you’ll enjoy it.
Okay…full disclosure. I did succumb to the notion that I HAD to leave something for them, you know, a little note about how special and wonderful each was so they could tuck it away in a special place and review when life got hard – yes, I watch a lot of weepy dramas.