The Truth About Mortality

Late nights and thinking always lead to a lack of sleeping. That’s where I am tonight. Failing to get the sleep I desperately need in order to accommodate a pleasing disposition tomorrow when we will be hosting our family along with several girls from my daughter’s class for not only her birthday party, but a sleepover with said girls as well.

I am officially 2 1/2 weeks behind on submitting my very first Week 1 Snuff out the Blah Challenge, and here’s why: life happened. A real life, life emergency happened. While my project is finally complete and ready for pictures and posting (which will come in the next few days…I PROMISE), it wasn’t until this week that I was actually able to wrap it up.

So, back to mortality. The truth is, it’s real. I know, I know. Everybody already got the memo, right? Well, I thought I had, too. Turns out, what I actually had was a disillusionment of sorts.

You see, I’ve been incredibly blessed. In my 30 years, I haven’t had to experience the loss of someone close to my heart. I’ve lost my great grandparents and one of my grandfathers, and while those times saddened me with the loss of a family member, none of those did I have a close relationship with (and was much younger for a couple of them) to be truly long-term effected by it. It wasn’t a case where you were around them enough or at distinct times to really feel their lack of presence after they were gone. My dad has three siblings, my mom has three siblings, 5 out of 6 of those are married with children, and both of my dad’s parents and my mom’s mom are still here. So, really, I’m pretty freaking blessed. I have a ton of family.

Having experienced so little in the loss department makes it hard for me to relate to people like my husband who have been plagued by loss. His mother passed when he was barely entering his teen years, his grandparents are gone, and just a few years ago, we buried his step-mother and then six months later, his father. Loss like he has experienced is beyond unimaginable for someone like me. Can we just take a second to process that? Before he was 30, he’d lost his entire family with the exception of his sister……….

Although I’m no dummy and am fully aware that death is inevitable, I also have been living in a sort of ignorant state of mind. You know, ignore it and it doesn’t exist? Live life taking for granted that you are constantly surrounded by your family, love and appreciate them but remain in this “cloud” where the people you love will never have anything bad happen to them because, well, somehow you’ve gotten it great thus far so it’s just going to stay that way. Get me? Yes? No?

Two weeks ago, the reality of mortality was given to me in doses. First, I received a call that my father was on the way to the hospital via ambulance. Now, while I won’t go into any details, what I will say is this: An ambulance ride is not given simply for the fact that you want to look at the pretty lights and talk shop with the EMTs while en route. It was because he needed it.

I spent a week running back and forth between the hospital and home, relieving my mom so she could catch a quick shower and looking for any excuse to stay by my dad’s side. A week later, he was finally sent home. Two days later, I got the call he was on his way back. Again, by ambulance.

While my dad is home now and in most ways better than he’s been in years, this journey is far from over. This is merely the beginning. There will more than likely be more calls, more rushes to the hospital, and more times where I’m scared for his own mortality before he gets better. But, he will get better. I say this not from disillusionment. It is a fact. We just have to go uphill before we can come back down. I know that now. Two weeks ago when that first call came in, I didn’t know. I knew there was the possibility of worsened health down the road. Down the road. Not two weeks ago. Needless to say, it wasn’t anything any of us were expecting to happen right now.

In the same twenty minutes that I received that call about my dad’s first trip to the hospital, I received a call regarding one of my uncles on my dad’s side. He’d been having some health troubles in the past month or two but didn’t get a name put to it until the day before I got the call. Cancer. The cancer he’d had two years ago – and was in remission for – was back with a vengeance. And this time, it would take him with it. The doctors gave him three months. I’m feeling the need for some major prayers for my grandparents right now. They find out one son is terminal while at the same time, another is in and out of the hospital. As a parent, I. can’t. imagine. I just can’t.

Here’s the thing about mortality: It sucks. I’m a Christian. I believe in God. I look forward to an eternity of no suffering. Though I mourn the loss we will soon feel for my uncle, I celebrate in knowing he will no longer suffer. He will be renewed, healed, and I rejoice in that. Even though we celebrate in these things, we still mourn. It’s still hard. It still sucks. And his absence will be felt. Every Christmas celebration for that side of the family. Every reunion. Every Thanksgiving gathering on that side. His absence will be felt. We will miss him, and we’ll be reminded that mortality in inevitable.

I suppose it’s about time I got my first hard dose, whether I like it or not. The disillusionment is now over, and I can join the real world (although I much prefer my awesome cloud where all of my family gets to stick around until after I’m gone – which would hopefully be when I’m super old so I have plenty of time with my amazing children and husband – you know, that awesome cloud?!). Yeah, I have definitely been living in lala land. Sheesh.

In the meantime, I’ll be back here in a few days to finally show you my Week 1 project. But first, I must sleep. Silly, hyper, 8 year olds are coming to my house tomorrow, and I’m going to need my sleep if I’m ever going to get this place cleaned, the cake baked, and everything set up in time. 😉 Yep. Total procrastinator. Too bad you can’t get paid for procrastinating. I’d have sooo much money.


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