If the world ends tomorrow… I will hug my kids a little tighter. I won’t wait for bedtime or “owie’s” as the main reason for a squeeze. As they run through the house screaming and being obnoxious, I will close my eyes to the fact that they are running in the house and I will close my ears to their screams. I will make a point to sit each one of them down, alone, and I will look into their very soul and I will tell them just how proud they have made me, how they have given my life purpose, how they have made me wake up every day and thank God that I am alive and how they are the most special thing in the entire world.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will remind myself of all of the great things that I have accomplished and I will take the time to forgive myself for all of the times when I “slipped up” or made a mistake. I will remember the dreams I’ve had, the trials and tribulations and I will smile when I think of all that I still have left to do. It’s only when we stop making lists that our life is done.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will tell everyone in my life how much I love them and how they have changed my life. I will rely on a hug in person rather than a Facebook post, a text message or an email. I’ll remember how the phone works and I won’t be satisfied until I hear a voice at the other end of the line. The people that have come into and out of my life have shaped me into who I am today. I’ve learned countless lessons on friendship, expectations, compassion and love.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will honor my own personal heroes. While they don’t wear capes or save the world, they have saved me, motivated me and pushed me to be so much more than I ever thought possible. They aren’t superstars or famous people, they are “everyday” people who choose to change the world and influence positive behavior and actions. It’s impossible not to be a better person when you have them in your life.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will forgive and forget. I won’t just act like everything is okay, I will make it so. I will forgive those who have hurt me and those who have made it a point to rundown everything that I have ever been. I will allow my enemies the courtesy that they have never extended to me. I will kill them with kindness. (if the world doesn’t end first) And most of all, I will remember to say “I’m sorry”.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will tell that special man how much he means to me. I will look deeply into his eyes and whisper “sweet nothings” in his ear. I will tell him that when he walks into a room, my heart still skips a beat and my palms begin to sweat. I’ll touch him as if for the very first time and I will revel in the beauty that he possesses. I’ll tell him that he is all I dream of and that he’s the only man who I can fantasize of (although not for a lack of trying). I’ll show him what’s in my heart and I’ll point out all the once broken pieces that are now held together because of his love.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will give my dog an extra treat and I’ll try really hard not to laugh at his nearly toothless old-man face. I’ll refrain from telling him that he has a fat ass and a smile that only an Okie could love. Instead, I will tell him how he has been my rock and how he’s pulled me through dark times in my life. I’ll remind him of that time that I wrecked my car and he was so scared that when my mom came to save us, he took a giant shit on her console and that she found poo under her seat for a year. I’ll smile and tell him how much that still makes me laugh when she pisses me off. (sorry Mom) I will try to cram all of the love of 12 years and all of the years that we will miss, all into one moment. I’ll know that he feels it when he completely ignores me and instead tries to get past me to take over my couch.
If the world ends tomorrow… I will blame the cat.
While driving the boys (8 & 7 years old) home from school today, we happened upon a conversation that started innocently, just to pass the time, but it ended up to be a serious conversation that I think all parents should have with their children if they own a pet.
Our initial topic was the fact that we are going to a horse show tomorrow. Paris (the 8-year-old) was excited but Bristol (the 7-year-old) wasn’t really interested. When Paris asked Bristol why he didn’t want to go, Bristol said that he would rather go to the animal shelter and help the animals. For those of you who know me personally, you know that volunteer work, especially for the shelters and animals, is extremely important to me. I’ve tried to raise my children to respect and understand the full realm and responsibilities of pet ownership. I’ve shown them the great moments and sadly, the really depressing outcome of bad decisions. Anyway, while Bristol lamented, somehow the conversation went to Biscuit, a dog that Paris found at the shelter in January and who he deemed “Biscuit”. The name came from a book about a dog, one of my child’s favorites. Paris said that he wanted to go back to the shelter so he could see Biscuit and because he really hoped that the dog was still there. I explained to Paris that he really didn’t want Biscuit to still be at the shelter because that would mean that he hadn’t found his “forever home” and that he had no family to call his own. (I didn’t dare tell him that dogs don’t live that long at the shelter) Paris just responded with, “Well, someday Bowser will die and then we will get a new dog and we can save Biscuit then. We can be his family.” I told the boys that yes, someday we would have to deal with Bowser dying and that eventually, we would get another dog but that I didn’t know how long it would take me to get over the loss of Bowser. Then the conversation took another turn…
Paris said that when Bowser died, he would still be with us, he’d just be in the yard all the time. This is when I brought up the subject of cremation. At first, Paris was outraged and offended and he screamed at me. He said that he wanted Bowser to be in the back yard so that he could give him kisses and talk to him every day. I asked Paris what would happen if we moved and he said that he had never thought of that. Then I told Paris about “Rainbow Bridge” and the fact that when Bowz dies, he will leave his body and go to the heavens and there he will wait for us. Without hesitation, Paris said, “”Okay, we can do that. As long as I have my good memories, it doesn’t matter. You aren’t supposed to think of the bad memories anyway. I will remember him as he lived and not as he died.”.
Death is not something that we want to talk about with our kids. But shouldn’t we? Shouldn’t they understand that when someone or something passes, that it’s never truly gone as long as we let it live on in our hearts? Shouldn’t our children understand and have a say in what happens to them when they are gone? At my boy’s age, they only understand 2 things. When you die, you get buried. Unless you are a fish, then you get flushed. But is burial always the right answer? When I think of Bowser leaving us, all I can think about is that memories will not be enough for me and that I always want him by my side (I do have a tattoo as a living memorial in his honor). I had decided years ago to cremate his remains but what I still haven’t figured out is exactly what I want to do with them. As macabre as it is, I really think I want to carry his ashes around with me until I am gone and then, I want to be cremated and reunited with my best friend. Yes, the Rainbow Bridge and thoughts of heaven are great but I want to be back with him, body and spirit. My strangeness factor is through the roof. I better not talk about the other thought that I had of using his ashes to create a diamond…
Regardless, my kids now know of another option and I think they understand the meaning behind why someone would cremate vs bury. The biggest thing for them to know is that although those we lose are not here in body, they live in our hearts and through our memories of them.
Amazing to think that even though I am supposed to be teaching them, I still have a thing or two to learn myself. The love of a child knows no bounds.