My youngest two children sneaked into my room where I was sleeping. They let out a collective sigh, and one exclaimed, “Whew! We thought you were dead! ”
I’m not dead, nor am I dying. I’m just sick again. Though I may feel “like I’m dying,” I know I’ll eventually recover. It’s been six weeks since we first became ill, which feels like an eternity, but it can’t really last forever.
The children, sick themselves, keep a close eye on me and become extremely clingy when Mama goes down. References to my impending demise are frequent.
In January 2011, I became obviously very ill. Several doctors, uncertain as to the cause for my suffering, all concurred it was potentially life threatening. I looked like a dying person, and I could sense my life ebbing away. The children, however were oblivious. They’d yet to experience death up close and personal, so it never crossed their minds they could lose their mother. They just thought mom was sick, but she’d get better.
Well, that’s what they thought until their dad could no longer contain his excitement. He sat in the car with our children, ages 2, 4, 11, and 14, while I went in for another appointment. While they waited for me, he bubbled over, “If Mom dies, we’ll sell everything and move to Alaska! Auntie L can home school you, and we’ll live where there’s lots of snow! Doesn’t that sound fun? ”
They were horrified. Traumatized. The thought of losing their mother frightened them. It didn’t sound fun to them. They didn’t want Mama to die! They didn’t want to leave their home, their toys, their animals and go some place strange!
I know I’ve shared all of this before. And, it’s just another example of R’s cruelty. But, it’s fresh again tonight as I struggle so hard to find a bit of rest and my youngest two won’t allow it. They hover and watch and touch me. They listen for my heartbeat.
They can’t stand to see their mama sick because it brings up that fear that I might die. That foreign fear that R instilled in them over two years ago.
I don’t want to tell them, but with God’s grace, I plan to live to be a happy 90 year old just to spite their father.
This too shall pass. I’m not dying!