as most of you know, i don’t talk about my children often- i try to respect and value their privacy. but this morning i had a conversation with my daughter that i want to share.
we were driving to school and my daughter asked me how close the cemetery is (where my mom is) to our home? i told her 40 minutes away. she was concerned it was too far.
my daughter asked me about my mother’s cancer again. was it caught early or was it late stage? (her words, not mine) how did she get it? will you get it mommy? will i? how old will you be when i am 65 and will you be alive when i am 65? (she’s 8 now). are you ok mommy?
i did my best to answer honestly.
no, mommom’s cancer was not caught early- pancreatic cancer is rarely caught early. i don’t know how she got it but pancreatic cancer is not contagious. i don’t think i will get it because MOST people do NOT get pancreatic cancer, but i will take care of myself and be tested when it is time for me to be tested (typically a child of someone with pancreatic cancer needs to start testing 10 years before the parent’s age at diagnosis). you shouldn’t get it honey, and hopefully by that time, cancer will be no big deal because scientists and doctors are working to find a cure. i will be 95 when you are 65 and i’d like to be alive when you are 65. and although i am still sad baby, i am ok. (and i am!)
she went off to school and i was left to let my thoughts linger (shocking). i’m just so fed up with the uncertainty of it all.
i don’t want to lie to my kids, so i say things like, i think i won’t get sick, and
i’d like to live a long time, i’ll try to live a long time, i should be able to live a long time, and you will more likely than not be ok, and we are all ok no matter what happens etc. and it is important to cherish every minute of every day and think positively and take good care of ourselves and each other. and don’t fight! stop fighting with your brother. (i have to get that in any time i can!)
and i know that i say the words "i think" and "it should" or "it may or may not" and "i’d like to" because i know i cannot guarantee a damn thing. NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING. because the fact is, nothing is certain, and that is all i really know.
and it drives me insane that i cannot promise absolute protection, happiness, longevity, nor prosperity for my kids.
but i can (and do) show my children how much i love them. and i can keep answering their questions no matter how emotional/nervous/sad they may make me.
and i can show by example that no matter what life throws at you, it is possible to keep a positive outlook. and it is possible (and ok) to laugh and cry even at the same time. and each day, that uncertainty can potentially bring not just something horrible, but maybe something wonderful, inspirational, magical, and fantastic. and just as easy as it is to worry about the bad, we can hope for the good.
facebook: jennifer koppelman hutt