I don’t think that I was any different from the majority of the population in thinking that Tom and I would grow old together. The only reason that crossed my mind, for why we might not, was if we split up. I often wondered if, after the kids were grown, we had enough in common to want to play out the rest of our lives together. We really were very different. But we did love each other.
Of course I never dreamed that he would die so young. I found myself carrying out a promise to take care of him, thinking that we were supposed to be old and gray by the time I had to take on that role. It isn’t always how you plan it.
Tom often would complain that his life had no meaning. He never felt that his existence had a purpose. Simply bringing in three wonderful sons, and raising them up with values and happiness was not enough for him. I now realize that his happiness was held hostage by a grief that I could never fathom. I do believe that he came to terms with this before he died. Still, we are very different individuals, he and I.
Ever since Tom’s death, the prospect of dying before I am old and gray has threatened. Even with the breast cancer scare, I promised the kids that I would fight to the end. Thankfully, it didn’t go that route. I didn’t then, and won’t ever, make promises to my children that I will be around forever (or any other measure of time).
Knowing that I won’t be around for eternity, there are a few things that I want to see/accomplish before I do die. I think that my list is simple. Unlike Tom’s initial thoughts on the meaning of life, I believe that if I can make a difference in my children’s lives, then mine will have been worth my existence. I need nothing more than that.
A wonderful friend of mine took YaYa and I to the movies yesterday. Afterwards, we went back to her house for an awesome meal cooked by her and her husband. It was a great night.
She let me pick out the movie. I chose Rob Reiner’s new movie, The Bucket List, with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I cried a lot but enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a great movie and it does get you thinking.
The movie prompted me to work on my own "bucket list." My list is primitive but I suppose it will evolve over time. For now, the majority of items revolve around the kids.
My Bucket List
- "Find the joy" once more.
- Attend and watch each of the boys graduate from High School, and then College.
- Dance with each of my sons at their weddings.
- Spoil my grandchildren (just like my Step Dad spoiled my children) by being at their Birthday Parties, Sporting Events, any other important events, and any other time they will have me.
- Visit the Grand Canyon (with the boys).
- Qualify and run in the Boston Marathon.
- Visit Ireland and Guam with the boys to learn about their roots together.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.