just in case

When I was fifteen, I couldn't sleep one night because my mind weighed heavily on the unknown--mostly death. I got out of bed, turned on the closet light, and wrote letters to each member of my family for no apparent reason except "just in case." I have always been oddly preoccupied with death, and perhaps it is because as of yet I have not lost anyone close to me. And although I believe there is an afterlife, and my heart is generally uneasy with the subject.

Lately, I can't shake the feeling that Tim and I need to get some of our affairs in order, and we are slowly beginning to do so just in case. There are so many questions that need to be answered just in case something unexpected happens. (Please note that we do not anticipate anything happening at the moment. I suppose we are just tightening our grown-up pants and tightening up loose ends.)

Here are a list of random things that run through my head whenever I ponder death:
-Who will become guardians of our kids if something were to happen to both Tim and me?
-Do I know all the bank/bill/email passwords?
-Where will we be buried? We have no central family location.
-What will I do if something happens to Tim? Where will I go? Will I stay here? Will I go home? Will I try somewhere new? Who will I ask for help?
-What will Tim do if something happens to me? Who will come to help him with the girls? Will he find a suitable nanny/daycare? Will he remarry? How long will it take for him to remarry? Will he miss me?
-How will my girls remember me? Are there enough home movies that they can watch to remember my smile? My scowl? My laugh? My tickles? My melodies?
-Who will teach my girls how to wear makeup?
-Who will hug and kiss the girls as much as we do?
-Do I know how to work the grill? Or use Tim's tools correctly?
-Does Tim know how to trim the girls hair? Or create whatever hairdo they ask for?
-What are the things we will remember most?
-How will we retain a testimony that God has a plan?
-How will our parents react? Will they understand the depth of our love and appreciation for the support they've offered over the years? Will they be okay?
-Will our dear friends know how much they have meant to us?

The list is obviously not all inclusive, but these things are often on my mind. A couple of weeks ago, Tim and I went out on a rather slippery night, and I was actually fearful that we might not make it home. I wrote the babysitter to cancel, but then Tim and the babysitter thought it would be better for us to go out as planned because the next day was supposed to have worse weather. I regretted the decision the moment I stepped into the car. I probably asked Tim about fifty times if the roads were icy until we made it to our destination.

Clearly, we returned home safely, but we decided that night that we would never put ourselves in obvious danger just to make it somewhere as originally planned. We need to be smarter; a lesson was learned. I worry so much for our girls. I would never want them to live a life without one of us, and I could not imagine a life without one of them. I am probably the biggest worrier on the block, which is always noted by the other moms as I run behind my girls, securing helmets on their heads and reminding them to stay out of the street when they ride their bikes and scooters. I believe very much in preventing as many problems, or in our case boo-boos, as possible. ;)

We always think time is on our side. How often do we hear, "Oh I'll just do it tomorrow? Or I'll worry about that another time?" I was recently reminded that time isn't always linear. We expect it to keep going on and on in front of us, but sometimes that linear line disappears, and all we are left with is static space. I am trying to be mindful of time, and I am trying to be grateful for each new day we are granted as a family. Life is such a blessing, but I think enjoying life is an even greater gift.

What are your thoughts on the subject?


  1. I'm exactly the same. We had a will drawn up a few years ago. It actually needs to be updated but I'm always worried about that. When I was pregnant with Kade I always had this sinking feeling that I (specifically) would not get to be his mom for very long. Which, maybe (likely) I was being pregnant and hormonal but it really bothered me on a daily basis. So we've always tried to stay on top of that. We have our guardian and she knows she's it, if anything happens to us. It's amazing how much better it makes me feel, having it all written down. We have detailed lists of where our possessions will go and what will be sold and put into savings for the boys. This is really long. But you are not alone in those thoughts.

  2. It is amazing how much worry can occupy one mommy brain! And I think it grows exponentially with each child. I appreciate your open honesty Janine and was glad to find your blog again. Your family is so beautiful!

  3. This list makes me think I need to worry, I mean "prepare," more. I spend so much time worrying whether or not I'll mentally make it through the day or the week that there's not much time left over for worrying about life and death. It's usually only when Byron comes home late without calling and I can't reach him that my mind veers that direction. There are some assurances in my patriarchal blessing that have put my mind fairly at ease about my own mortality. That is definitely a blessing.


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