Sometimes, the most intense conversations with my girl take place in the car. This morning, before we left for school, she was digging around in my jewelry box. She found a watch left to me by my Aunt Mill, and asked about it. I explained that Aunt Mill wanted me to have it after she died, and we needed to be very careful with it, but that she was welcome to look at it. She felt it and looked at it and put it back.
Then later, in the car, she seemed a bit upset. She asked me if someone killed the person who left me the watch. I don't know where that came from, but I explained that Aunt Mill had lived a long, mostly happy life, and had died because she was so old.
A few minutes later, she got even more upset. This was odd, because she doesn't really remember Aunt Mill, which is sad to me. I talked to her a bit, and she said that it reminded her that Jetter had died (aka Jet, our much-loved cat who died in December). Then she asked me if I was going to die, or Daddy.
I'm thinking, "Crap. I really need more coffee for this kind of conversation early in the morning."
But it gets better. She asked me if Jetter and Aunt Mill were with God, because that's what happens to you when you die. And I quote: "For reals." Because then, when I die, I could be with them again. Which is a tempting thought, but I didn't really want to sell that to her. And I really don't know where that one came from either, because she didn't get that from us.
Honestly, now I'm thinking double espresso more than coffee. Or perhaps tequila shooters.
See, in our house, there's not a lot of talk about God or heaven or religion, being the heathens that we are. Mark and I haven't much talked about how to deal with these issues with Lauren and Sam later, but I wanted to be honest with her about my own feelings without crushing her little soul for the day or sending her directly into therapy. I punted with some talk about that's what some people believe, and some people believe in reincarnation, and some people believe this life is all we get and we should make the most of it. I was utterly unprepared for this depth of conversation, shall we say.
Plus, you know, she's 5. Tough topics have to be addressed directly and honestly, but at her level. You try it. Go on, just think about what you'd say to explain death, heaven, and religion to a 5 year old.
I kind of think that the concept of heaven and all that is a nice comfort when you lose someone you love, if you believe it's true. I'm not sure what I believe, but I'm thinking I need to figure that out right quick, considering the questions that are coming up now. I lean toward the third option of this is all we get, so have fun and do good, but really, who wants to find out for themselves? Not me, not anytime soon.
Damn, this parenting stuff is hard.
Speaking of people you love and loss (nice segue, don't you think?). I'm having a bit of a time dealing with something else, and really, what the hell are blogs for except to purge your thoughts in semi-public? Take a deep breath and sit down if you know some of my particular history. Especially if you know Scotty.
My ex has been diagnosed with cancer. Prognosis is up in the air at the moment - he has another doctor's appointment with a cardiothoracic surgeon tomorrow. He was having shortness of breath and pain in his ribs, and they found that his right lung was compressed. They drained 3 liters of fluid from the pleural area, which is between your lungs and rib cage, and found malignant cells. But they haven't been able to locate any tumors, just some small spots in the pleural wall. The surgeon is supposed to tell him whether any surgery could be helpful, and then probably chemo will start pretty soon.
My ex is a very dear friend, even though we haven't seen much of him in the last few years. He turns 40 tomorrow. Or, as he would say, 39 +1. His spirits are pretty good, all things considered. He's varying between fighting spirit and fatalism. I prefer the former. Cross your fingers, send some mojo, pray if that's your thing, would you please? Thanks.