Tuesday, January 18, 2011

table talk

I shared a meal with my two children last night as I do most nights. We were sitting around the table chatting when the subject of the upcoming weekend came up. They will be going to their dad's house...which is where I left three cats that I love very much. My first baby, Nightro, will be 17 this summer. Next is Bosco who will turn 16. And last but certainly not least is Scooby, who will be 6, I think. We adopted him from a lady that worked at the library and she wasn't clear on his exact age so we are guessing within a year or so. I loved, and still love, these cats very much. When I moved after the divorce, I would have taken one or all of them but since I was so unsure of living arrangements, etc I did not take any of them. The two older ones..well, I wasn't sure how a move and a new home would be for them. The last thing I wanted to do was to stress them out. So I left them.

And I miss them every day.

Back to the table talk...I asked the kids to take some photos of the cats. My son and I had a conversation last week about them...we were actually on our way to take my new baby Maisy for a rabies booster when he told me that he did not think Nightro would live much longer. It was a reality check sort of talk...well, this conversation was brought up last night again. I told the kids that they need to be prepared that it could happen any time. It could be next week or next year. My daughter began to cry....death can be a very scary and sad thing. I asked her to kiss them for me and whisper in their ears how much I love them and miss them. She promised she would.

The conversation evolved into the realization that people and animals don't live forever. I reminded them that it is never easy to lose someone you love but we must accept that life is not forever. All four of their grandparents are living as well as one great grandma. How do you prepare your children for one of life's hardest and most difficult lessons?

Last week in church I couldn't get my Grandma out of my head. Let me set it up as it has to do with the conversation I had with my kids....we lost my Grandma to lung cancer a few years ago. She had been diagnosed four years prior and fought the toughest fight of her life against this horrible disease. She was an amazing woman whom I miss so very much. Many times I feel her presence so strong at church. My Grandma went every week and had a strong faith. Many of the songs at Mass make me think of her. And smile. :) I was at Mass with five important people. I looked to my left and saw a man who has helped me get through so much. And in a strange and very surprising twist of fate, has become someone very important to me. To my right were four kids who continue to amaze me all the time. I looked at the two boys, with the younger one looking up at the older one...it melts my heart to see how much they care about each other. Past the boys were the girls...ah, the girls. They fight but I know deep down they love each other, too. And even though I have had my own inner struggles understanding the why's and what were you thinking's....I love them all. All four of them.

Then the music. I think of my Grandma. I think of how she will never see this, to know how I somehow managed to move from unhappiness to such contentment. I look at these five other people and feel such a sense of peace. Yet I cannot help to know that the cancer that invaded my Grandma also has invaded the body of one of our precious boys. He is a fighter and is doing great but I cannot help but to face the fact that he has cancer.

Cancer..that ugly disease. And all of the emotions that were in me at that moment were simply too much. I felt love, peace, happiness and hatred all at once. The love, peace and happiness are obvious..the hatred: for a disease I hate. But then I remind myself that this little boy is kicking butt and taking names. I have never witnessed a braver little boy than I have in this one. And I couldn't be more proud to be part of his life. ♥

I shared all of this with my kids last night at the dinner table...our table talk. I was real and raw with my emotions. And they were, too. Both of my children cried...we hugged and cried some more.

Is this how I prepare them for life's hardest lessons? I can only hope so.

1 comment:

iteach7 said...

I don't think we can ever be prepared for life's difficult lessons. However, you have given them something to think about...you are not sugar-coating it but being honest. You are a great mom....and I'm not just saying that because you are a very important person to me.