I've been sick for a few days now...sick enough to be bedridden for almost 24 hours. I'm the kind of person that prefers to push through any type of illness and just keep on going. So, you know it's bad when I need to stay in bed for 24 hours. Being bedridden gives me a glimpse into just how much I take my health for granted. I know I don't get enough rest. I know my eating habits are worse now than when I was in college. I know I need to get more daily exercise. I know all these things will help prolong my life; and yet I take it for granted that, regardless, I will live for many years to come and will see my children graduate from college, get married and begin families of their own.
But, what if? What if something were to happen to me? To my husband? To both of us? What about our children? Recently, my husband and I have revisited the discussion of who would be guardians for our children should we both pass away. While uncomfortable (I mean, who wants to think about the possibility that you won't be around to watch your children grow into adulthood), it was rather easy. We were in agreement on our choices for guardianship. I have had the good fortune to marry a man who has five younger sisters, three of whom had children before we did. And, even before we had our own children, I felt a kinship with one of my sisters-in-law's (SIL) mothering style. That is the sister we chose as our primary guardian for the kids. She and her husband have three children of their own, ranging in age from six to twelve.
I spoke with my SIL a few nights ago just to remind her of the discussion and ask again if she and her husband were agreed on being guardians. We will be signing the official papers soon, and I wanted to make sure that they had both taken into consideration the possibility that Max will have some long term special needs/challenges. He could still be on a feeding tube. He may not be walking yet. He will continue to need various therapies. But, they had indeed discussed these possibilities, and were agreed that they wanted to accept the responsibility. My SIL even joked that she would quit her job to be there for Max, in whatever way he would need. (I actually think she's serious about that.)
I am so very grateful to know my children will be well cared for and loved beyond measure. The mere idea of not being here for my own children can keep me awake some nights, gripping me in fear. So I have to keep reminding myself that there ARE other people who love them. Of course it won't be the same as mommy and daddy; but these precious babies will not lack for love from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends. And for this, I am very blessed.