I Don’t Want To Die, Not Yet

I have been mourning my own death all week.

Sunday night I had a dream that I died. It wasn’t painful. It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t like the dreams I’d get in high school where I’d be falling off a cliff then black out at the bottom.

It was the kind of dream that made me wake up with a start, too sad to stay asleep.

I dreamt that Travis and I were in a fatal car accident. One minute we were on the road, the next we drove off a massive cliff. Then with a fluttering we were at our home.

My mom was there crying while she did our dishes and cleaned up our kitchen. She spoke to someone on the phone telling them that after 17 hours on the operating table, I didn’t make it.

Somehow she could sense I was there and she let me hug her while we both cried.

Then I walked into the room where all three of my boys were asleep. I watched over each of them for a while and just sobbed.

How was I going to leave them? Why couldn’t I stay? The most desperate, depressing feeling I have ever had in my life fell over me. How was I going to let them go on living without me?

I was going to have to miss everything. EVERYTHING! The good, the bad, everything.

I’d miss their awkward junior high years. I’d miss when their voices started to crack. I’d miss when they had their first real crush or when they went on their first date. I’d miss teaching them to drive.

I’d miss clapping for them at graduation. And I wouldn’t get to meet my daughters-in-law.

Not only was I going to miss out, who would be there for them?

Who would push them in the swing or catch them at the slide? Who would cut open their otter pops and wipe their juicy faces? Who would take them fishing and bait and cast their poles?

Who would lie by them at night when they couldn’t go to sleep?

It wasn’t going to be me.

In my dream my 6-year-old woke up and grabbed me by the shirt. I told him I couldn’t stay, that I’d be gone for a really long time and he cried and cried and cried.

I woke up with my heart broken. Broken by a stupid dream — a dream that has changed my way of thinking.

Heaven knows I’m tired these days. My 7-month-pregnant body is killing me, I’m sick of my kids fighting all the time and I can’t stand how messy my house keeps getting.

But despite all the aching, arguing and mess, I’m alive. I am here. Here to cuddle my boys to sleep. Here to read them stories in the afternoon. Here to try to figure out Pokemon and the best bait to use for a large-mouth bass.

Here to enjoy the ups and downs.

There are a lot of things about motherhood that irritate me, but this week I’ve been reminded that it all could end in an instant. I could be forced to skip all the good, the bad and the ugly.

I’m sure my boys would have been well cared for had I really died, but I’m the one who wanted this. I want to be with them. I want to raise them. I want to experience life with them.

So bring on the laundry and the rings in the toilet. Bring on the wrestling matches and the never-ending sass. I get to live with my beautiful family. Hopefully for a really long time.

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