Sunday, June 6, 2010

Muted apprehensions

Motherhood has left me with me with this very frequent, intense feeling of being so very blessed. It's not always at the forefront of my mind, but it's constantly there. At least a few times a day it makes it way to the very front of my consciousness and shouts at me, "Boy!! Are you lucky!!"

And I am. So very very lucky. I look at my son and I can't help but feel like my world is just so....full. With joy. With hugs. With giggles. With pride. With smiles. With just immeasurable love. It's indescribable. Like the parents who came before me told me it would be. And while I believed them, I could never grasp the depth of it all until Ben came into my life.

But with this newfound joy and wholeness comes this nagging anxiety that whispers to me, it could all slip way. Like suddenly life is so amazing that I realize there is just so much to lose. And it's absolutely terrifying. Because I know that if Ben ever somehow slipped away, I wouldn't know how to get out of bed every morning or how to force my lungs to fill and empty over and over. I could never go back to life without Ben.

When the topic of old age comes up, I tell people flat out that I plan to die in my seventies. Seriously, I know I can't control much of dying before that beyond the obvious don't smoke, don't drink and drive, don't play on the train tracks, blah blah blah, but your late seventies seems pretty ideal. Hopefully your body isn't completely failing you yet. For most, the mind is still intact. Many maintain a good deal of independence. After that, it's just kinda downhill. My grandmother lived into her nineties. She didn't have much of a life near the end. I don't want that for myself, relying almost exclusively on others.

Anyway, when this discussion came up recently, I shared my plan and then I realized that my late seventies is in 40+ years. And you know what happened? My stomach dropped. That anxious feeling returned as I realized that means I only have 40+ years with Ben. That's not enough time. And right then, I realized. No amount of time will ever be enough.