Fair Warning Disclaimer!!! This post is a tad depressing, so feel free to skip it if you don't want to feel down at all. I just had to get some thoughts out. I promise to post again soon about happier!
It is late and I should be in bed, but I have many thoughts circling around my head so I knew I must get them out. I feel like this is one of those moments when my thoughts need to be recorded for me to look back on sometime.
Frequently, when people find out that I have been married for 12 years and have 4 children, they react with surprise. I often get something like, "Wow- you don't look old enough to have that many children!" Or something to that affect. In a world that frequently delays marriage and children, I suppose I am a bit of an oddity. I married one month before turning 21 and had my first child at 23. So, by today's standards- yes, very young (though my mother was younger still!). I can honestly say, I have never regretting marrying young. It has worked well for us. I never was a partying kind of person and never felt the need to "find myself"- maybe because I already knew who I was. I really don't think I would have done anything differently.
I was recently discussing this with my sister, who also married young, and told her that one advantage to this was that our children would grow up and (in theory) leave the house while we were still young enough to have our health and enjoy doing whatever we wanted with life. I have reached a point now that 50 and 60 don't really seem old and there is so much we can do with our lives!
However, due to many recent events, I been thinking a lot about mortality and how it can really sneak up on you. I worry now about what if Aaron or I are not around to enjoy empty nesting together? I have always imagined us living a long life together, but what if it isn't in the cards? I can't imagine that time in our lives, with grown children, without us both there, but what if that isn't how it will be? I find that thought scary and it has weighed on my mind a bit. As I think about it, it really is no surprise I suppose, that I have this fear. Here are the many things going on- just within the past several months- that make me feel this way:
1) Aaron has had 3- yes 3!- life threatening challenges in our marriage. 3 separate times I could have easily become a widow, yet God has spared him. I am so immensely grateful! He is, by the way, doing so much better! Just about back to his old self!
2) A little over a year ago, a friend lost her husband- who was our age- very suddenly and unexpectedly.
3) I have been watching my own father's health gradually decline. He is 58. He has Multiple Sclerosis, which has been progressing and leaves him in incredible pain every day. Recently, he has been having unexplained internal bleeding and weight loss. His iron level has dropped so low, he has to get blood transfusions. After many tests, they did find a mass in his colon that may be causing the bleeding. It could be as simple as a bad polyp that needs removed, or it could be worse.... He will have a biopsy done next week.
4) My uncle, who has always been very healthy (other than being a smoker...) had a massive stroke last week. I am not sure exactly of his age, but I think he is around the same age as my parents. He is still in the hospital and thankfully, it seems as though he will recover, but it will take weeks of physical therapy to get back movement on his left side.
5) I know of a few loved ones of friends who have been lost before their time or received serious debilitating injuries.
6) As I am sure I have mentioned on here before, Aaron and I met in geometry class in the 10th grade (17 years ago....). The teacher of the class was a great teacher and was quite popular- also a basketball coach. I have always been very good in math, but his geometry class was the ONLY math class until college that I found hard. Whenever Aaron and I remember our beginnings, we think of this teacher. He liked to joke about our "geometry romance" and we even invited him to our wedding. I just found out that he died over the weekend. He was 56. I was looking at pictures online and back in April, he was his normal self and looked just like I remembered him. Soon thereafter, he started to complain of stomach problems. Soon after that, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. By mid August, he was gone! We went to the viewing for his funeral yesterday and, because of the illness, I never would have recognized him if I hadn't known it was him.
So, all of this being said, I know this is the reason why I have been a little concerned about our mortality. I guess it is to be expected. But, ultimately though, on a positive note, I do truly believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe that God has a plan for us all and He knows what he is doing. I also believe that Aaron and I will be married for eternity and, regardless of what happens here on Earth, we will always be together. I know that I can trust in God and all will be okay, and I do trust in Him. I guess that the reality of life has been sinking in a little stronger lately.
Okay.....next I will move on to happier thoughts!