Picking a Time for Dying??????

My third child, Mandy, was 13 when she picked the time she wanted me to die.
Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly wanting me to die.
She and I were sitting in the kitchen one night when she said, “Mom, I’ve decided I’d rather you die when I’m 17 than when I’m 13.”
To say she caught me by surprise is an understatement.
We hadn’t been talking about death and dying or anything evenly remotely close to such. Where did this come from?
Even more important, were those my only two choices? Did she know something I didn’t? Was she telling me I had either one year or four years – and that was it?
After having loads of thoughts running through my head, I finally got up the courage to ask her what in the world brought this about.
She said she had just been thinking that she would have an easier time dealing with me dying when she was 17 as opposed to when she was 13.
Well, now, wasn’t she just the most considerate child ever? My time on earth – in this teenager’s world – should be determined by when she could best handle my demise.
I was relieved when Mandy reached her 14th birthday; I had made it through 13.
And when she passed 17 to 18, wow! I felt like I really had it made! I was a survivor!

Mandy turns 27 this month. She’s not the only one who celebrates her birthdays.
After that kitchen table discussion years ago, I consider each year past her 17th one a bonus for me!


Sandee said...

Yikes! That would have set me back too. My son turns 38 this year. My the time has flown by.

Have a great day. :)

Patricia Rockwell said...

Sandee, my son turns 38 this year too! Sherry, when they are young teens, I guess they just don't think people live past 30. Long life to you both!

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

my son is 38 also!!! a trifecta!

and i LOVE that tiara!!!

smiles, bee

magiceye said...

children can be so profound in their simplicity!

Rick said...

When my youngest was 14, I suffered a major heart attack on her first week of high school. How terrible, I thought, for her to lose her father just starting high school. Through three years of operations I clung to the thought of just living until she graduated high school. And the day after she graduated, I woke up with a smile and thought now I have to change my prayer to a later goal. Now she's a year from graduating college which is a month before I turn 50. Love your blog.

Unknown said...

Thanks to all of you for visiting and for taking time to comment. Three of you with 38-year-olds! How ironic that you are the first three to comment. Mine are 34, 31 and 27 (in a few days.)

Magiceye: they are profound in their simplicity - and sometimes a bit frightening.

Thericksnidereport: Thanks for sharing your story. May you have many, many more years!

Syd said...

I remember not ever wanting my parents to die at any time. I guess that I was in denial. And every year that they lived another was a good one for me.

Unknown said...

That WAS a strange conversation to have. It would have made me feel weird.

The Brantley Boys said...

Now, that I'm almost 27, I can't imagine losing my mother. Hold on...I never could really imagine it. Someone must have said something around that time that when people die it is harder on the survivors. I can only imgaine that is where that conversation came from. I do get a good chuckle from that story on a regular basis...easy to laugh considering the outcome.

The Brantley Boys said...

Oh, and take it as a compliment that I was thinking about it at all. I just knew from an early age how much I needed my mom---and I still do!

Oldqueen44 said...

When my oldest daughter was at her junior high graduation my youngest daughter (4 yrs younger than the older) asked me if I would still be alive when she graduated from junior high. I think I was 33 at the time.

Skunkfeathers said...

I don't have kids, but a plethora of nieces and nephews. When my oldest niece was 10, she was my great defender when it came to my older sister (by 11 months), aka her mom, teasing me about some gray hairs I was sporting by my late 20s. My niece stepped right up and told her mom to quit picking on me, because my gray hairs made me look "extinguished".

Took my sister five minutes to recoup from a Coke that went all over.

Last Christmas, my niece -- now in her early 30s -- when reminded of this conversation, looked at my 70% gray hairs now, and told me "would you color your hair? You look old as Hell!"

My sister is still yanking my chain over that 'un.

May you be around to keep Mandy and your other young 'uns entertained and cruciverbalized for many years to come ;)

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