Mortality. That's what has been on my mind this week. Cheerful, I know.
Chani died. Did you guys know that? I had no idea until earlier today. She died of a heart attack in her sleep. I don't know what to say about that, except that the internet creates such a strange world. Here is this woman in California I have never met, and never will, but I have spent the last three or four years reading her thoughts, at least the ones she was willing to publish. I know her political opinions and religious views and her compassionate spirit and now she's dead, only there's no blogger's memorial. So I unsubscribe from her blog - it felt obscene not to do so - and ... what?
The internet is so weird.
Also, did you know Joshilyn almost died a few weeks ago? Joshilyn Jackson, author of Faster than Kudzu, which is undeniably the most entertaining blog I read or have ever read, nearly died from a sudden, serious (obviously) medical condition. She's okay now, but still. Geez.
Another one. about a million years ago (maybe just twelve, but a million things have happened since) I led a church youth group, and among them I had my first taste of real Christian community. For two years we prayed and ate and laughed and served and rolled our eyes at one another. Out of the fifteen or twenty kids I shepherded - more like a sheep dog than a shepherd, but still - I know where twelve of them are now. And I just love them, guys. Anyway, two of the kids from that group lost their father this week. He had a stage 1 melanoma removed about a year and a half ago. All was well until last month, when they found tumors on his liver and brain. Yesterday they buried him. I put on my only black dress and stood in line with a few hundred people to hug them and tell them, again, that I love them. And while I waited I tried to remind myself that stage 1 melanoma is usually no big deal, and to ignore the coincidence that their dad and Brian both had melanomas removed about the same time.
In the meantime, Brian was gone all week. Our Week Without Daddy went better than I would have thought. I wasn't bitter or overwhelmed, I didn't feed the kids scrambled eggs for every meal. It was a pretty normal week, only without Brian, so it wasn't normal at all. Silas, in particular, shriveled a little more every day. He is too young to understand when Dad would be home, and is in this big Daddy phase anyway right now (everything belongs to Daddy - Daddy's couch, Daddy's toothbrush, Daddy's kitchen), so he was just - sad. He was clingy and anxious and always on the verge of tears. It was hard to see him like that, and not be able to do anything to soothe him, really.
It's all had me thinking about mortality. Brian's more than mine (I'm sure he appreciates that).
In the spirit of controlling what I can, those thoughts turned into anxiety about life insurance. We both have life insurance, but I'm pretty sure we don't have enough. So Brian spent the morning calling insurance companies to look into buying more. It won't surprise any of you to hear that insurance companies are not so keen on giving additional insurance to someone who has had cancer removed in the past two years. It would seem the insurance we have is all we're going to have for the next three years. True to his nature, Brian ended the conversation by saying, "Well, I'm not going to worry about life insurance anymore. I'm going to focus on staying alive instead."
So I'm going to stop worrying too. Because really? I can't control the future. I can't control life insurance companies, I certainly can't control melanomas (and they're usually harmless anyway!), and I can't do anything about Chani except to say good-bye, friend, I enjoyed sharing a little corner of the universe with you. Tomorrow I'm going to walk for breast cancer in honor of Mikkee's mom, and I'm going to a four-year-old birthday party (with an appearance by a real live princess, but sssh, it's a surprise for the birthday girl), and I'm going to plant our garden. All things that focus on life, and growth.
It should be a good day.
Good night, all.