21 July 2017, by We Are Family
My mother lived to just 62, far too young of course and her death seemed illogical and unjust at the time. However, just how young she was is only now starting to sink in - more than 16 years later.
I'm 55 this year, just 7 years younger than she was when she died.
7 years! It will fly by.
I can feel pretty sure about that as our sons came to us 5 years ago and even though it feels like they have been part of lives forever, the reality is that it also seems like only yesterday when we meet them for the very first time.
5 years of seeing our amazing sons grow and develop at a rate that has truly shocked us, 5 years that make me realise how precious time is and just how little of it there is in childhood. Which is actually quite a shocking realisation, as looking back at our my childhood it seemed to last forever.
Our boys were almost 5 and 6 years old when we became a family and they will no doubt move on to a life of their own when they go to university or get jobs at 18. That's possibly as little as 12/13 years of living together as a family and we are almost half way through that - and what a depressing thought that is!
It seems incredible to consider the little boy standing in front of us being just 8/9 years away from independence, it seems impossible to consider letting them go - but of course we will. In fact, just as our parents did we will actively encourage that independence no matter the pain it will cause us.
They may not be under the same roof, but they will be in our hearts every second of every day and we are confident that we will be in theirs. We feel sure of the relationship that has developed and the attachment that has been built and we know that they will carry that with them - wherever they go.
I have no reason the think that I will die as young as my mother, but the lack of her in my life (even as an adult) has made me consider how my early death would impact on my sons.
They are surrounded by love from friends/family and deep down I know that they would be OK, however it doesn't stop me feeling that I would be letting them down in the most severe of ways, that I would be robbing them of something so essential and adding to the loss and trauma that plagued their start in life.
I know that when our time comes it is a simple reality of life and I have no issue with my own mortality, but how it affects my children - who I am here to take care of, to be there for, to help find their way in the world is not so easy to face.
Obviously it is out of my hands - ultimately there is nothing I can do about it and I know that feeling concerned or guilty achieves nothing.
Although it does make me want to do better now, to do as much as possible today and every day. To fill their lives with things that help them grow and to develop and to be the best adults they can be, to be independent and to be truly able.
Mind you isn't that just the job of a parent regardless?
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