If genetics prove right- I will pass long before my body gives way. My mind will slip and you will not notice immediately because you will be busy living a life, a life I hope is filled with warmth, laughter and meaning. I will forget things you've told me, then your age, the year, your children's names, and eventually I will call you my sister's name or look at your with a blank or confused look on my face...
I know this empty, hollow, grieving of losing someone before they are gone from intimate experience of both grandparents. First my paternal grandmother in my youth and now my maternal grandparents (all in their seventies)... I know the cold weight of fear knowing it will soon be my own parents.
I know the feeling of loss, of wishing you could ask questions and know someone rather than an idea of who they were.
And being an older mother, having you all in my 30's, while my own mother had her first child at 18, and her mother before her at 18... They "lost" their mothers later. But you... my children... I will lose you sooner.
And it makes my stomach knot up, and makes me feel sick deep in my soul.
Tonight I nursed Isaac to sleep.. He bounced a foot and fiddled with the edge of a blanket alternately covering his eyes, then peeking up at me through the dark. He reached up with his hand to gently swat at my hair. A little routine we have...
And my heart sank at how precious it was, between the two of us it is something only I will remember, and the heaviness of losing it ever.
See, I didn't want to have you young. I saw the weight of motherhood on my mother before me and I wanted to travel, see the world, taste independence (and I did). I thought the satisfaction of having done those things, the accomplishment and joy of it all would be a gift to you, my children. And too late I look back and think I robbed you of those years (or more likely me). I should have mothered you sooner.
And I am deeply sorry for that. I know how melancholy this sounds- but realistic also. I love you each so dearly. You are so valued and loved. Your joy, your giggles, the indefinable gift that you are, the possibilities before you. I hope you never doubt how wanted, cared for and loved you are.
I will try everything I can to alter the hand I'm dealt. To read, research, exercise, take vitamins, whatever I need to do. But you should never doubt how much I love you.
These memories are so sweet. There are my own memories I hope to keep.. of childhood, laughter, my own parents... adventures of my youth, hills crossed, oceans seen and friendships treasured far and wide.. and while I know they are memories already fading (to make room for you my sweet children).. it's these days that I will mourn the loss of most of all. The memories of your laughter, the sweet turn up of your button noses, the unadulterated joy of your childhood.
I don't just parent you now.. I watch and relish and try to soak in these moments... long after you've walked away I try to preserve them and squeeze all that I can out of those moments.
I love you dearly.
Your mother forever,