First, I am so excited, humbled and thankful for all the feedback I got from my last post. I feel like a total cheese ball, but I LOVE when people read this blog!! I love it even more when I get comments and emails and facebook comments on it. It’s like getting an award for doing something you love. Now, if I could just make some money doing it!!
Second, since writing that post, I have been thinking a lot about organs and donating and my family. It has taken me a few days to process. When you go somewhere like that, with bounce houses, trains and food and animals with kids as young as ours, it’s hard to focus on what you’re really there for. I have to have both my eyes peeled for both kids and what they are doing the whole time.
When we first arrived at the LOPA picnic, while still in the parking lot, we met a little boy about 8 or 10 years old who had received a heart. His family noticed the girls’ dresses and we started talking. He needed a heart and got it when he was just a baby. I was kind of busy making sure we had everything for the day and getting the car locked and all that and I didn’t get to hear the whole story, but it stuck in my head. It has made me really think and be thankful. We have 2 healthy kids, that have always been healthy. They are so young and I realize there is still time for something to happen, God forbid. But right now I am so thankful for my healthy girls.
I think about the families at the picnic and think my life would be completely over if something like what happened to them, would happen to me. You see people that have had these painful struggles, and their lives are not over. They are usually very grateful people who live in the moment in their lives because they know they HAVE TO. The alternative is to be miserable. They know what real struggle is like and their lives are full despite their handicaps and heartaches.
I heard an old song on the radio a while back and I got teary-eyed and decided I need to try and live my life as it is, to the fullest. The song is “Runaround” by Blues Traveler. I know I am showing my age here, but I totally love that song. Here are the lyrics that actually bring tears to my eyes…
“You see my ship still stands no matter what you drop,
And there ain’t a whole lot you can do,
Oh sure, the banner be torn and winds gotten colder,
Perhaps I’ve grown a little cynical,
But I know no matter what the waitress brings,
I shall drink in and always be full,
Yea, I will drink in and always be full”
No matter how bad I think I have it, I am the only one in charge of my attitude. No matter what life brings me, I need to take it in and make the best of it. I need to realize and appreciate how lucky, blessed and “full” I am. Not for the THINGS that I have, but for the PEOPLE that I have. And I have some wonderful people in my life, family and friends included. I couldn’t have asked for better parents and sister, my husband is truly my other half, I have 2 beautiful little girls, and I married into a great family. I have lots of old friends who mean the world to me, and my new friends are just as valuable. I am truly blessed.
Lastly, I really want people to realize that it’s important to talk about death. It’s not something to whisper about in the back bedroom when no one can hear you. I think it’s important, and healthy, to be open about it – because face it, IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. And it can happen in an instant. Of course, we all pray it doesn’t, but we well know that it can. It could be tomorrow or I could be the oldest person that ever lived. Since we don’t know, we need to be somewhat prepared. I don’t want to worry about it all the time, but I am glad that Jon and I are open about it and if something does happen, there are things we’ve already decided and I won’t have to think about them when I am grieving.
We have talked about it on several occasions since Jeremi died. I know what Jon wants and he knows what I want. I know what my parents and my sister want. As an example, I’ll share with all of you what I want, so there’s no confusion when the day comes. I am not embarrassed about it and I hope this encourages you to share with your family what you want.
I want my entire body donated. I want this earthly body to be all used up, whether its my organs going to others, my hair made into wigs for cancer patients, or even take my fingernails if someone needs them. I’ll have 10 more than I’ll need when I’m dead. If it’s more valuable to donate my whole body to science and become a cadaver, do it. It will all depend on how I die, I guess. I don’t want a burial, I don’t want a plot, I don’t want someone to be responsible for ashes of my body after I’m gone. All that costs money. I don’t want to burden my family with a death, as well as all that expense. I’ll take a gathering of anyone who wants to come and comfort my family and my great circle of friends. I’d love y’all to talk about me and all the fun things we have been through. Celebrate my life, remember me and make sure my kids know me and who I was. I pray so hard that I die many, many years from now and my kids know me very well. But as I said before, it could happen tomorrow. Then I would need all of you to keep me alive with my kids.
I believe that I’ll be with my loved ones for a very long time after I die. In their hearts and minds, whenever you think of me, I’m there. Which is how I feel about Jeremi. If I am thinking about him, or Jon and I are talking about him, he’s there. I am confident he knows we love him and miss him.