Last night, I started to imagine what it would be like if I died.
Like mothers do.
I laid in bed with a slight tickle in my throat and then the next thing I knew I had Covid. My mind took me places, like a mother’s does.
Sometimes it’s a dull ache where I think my ovary is located.
And then all of the sudden it’s ovarian cancer and I’m leaving my children the same way my favorite author left hers.
Other times it’s a movie or a news story.
Anything really will send me down death’s rabbit hole. Sometimes I picture my funeral, or my children’s weddings, or how my husband will manage to get the girls’ hair up in a ponytail. So many ponytails.
But this night, with this throat tickle, I didn’t picture those things.
I thought about the memes that I share about motherhood. And the texts I send my friends. The ones where I say I can’t do this anymore. That being a parent is taking me apart.
I thought about what my children would think if they read those things.
Digitally, I’m a mess.
So I need to put it here. That way they can always find it.
I need them to know that leaving your children is a mother’s greatest fear. That I want to put up every single ponytail. That being in heaven for one day without them, while inevitable, is too long.
I need them to know that loving them is rewarding because it is so hard. And that humor distracts moms from the stakes of this.
We laugh and commiserate because we’re scared and without control.
We understand that we can’t possibly be good at this all of the time, but hopefully, that we are when it counts.
And that we so badly want life to be good for you,
even if we can’t be here for it.
Written by Scarlett Longstreet. Shared with permission.
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