My mom died when I was three, and the only memories I have are vague and untrustworthy, more likely wishes than memories. I have four older brothers, the youngest is five years older than I am, and I’ve always felt some jealousy over the fact that they knew her, had conversations with her, and can summon at will memories of her that they know to be true. I’ve never really given much thought to what my life would have been if she hadn’t died. She did, it’s all I’ve ever known, and not having really known her, I have no comparisons to make. But a few years ago, hanging out with a friend and talking about the things you talk about late at night, he said to me, “Maybe it’s better your mom died when you were young. It spared you the pain of having to lose her later on.” It sounded wrong to me as soon as I heard it, but as I usually do, I didn’t react. Faced with a deep thought like this, I mull. Like cider. It’s one reason I can never have a profound conversation. I have to turn things over and over and over in my head before I know what I really think. So, after thinking about my friend’s comment for hours, days, and weeks, I decided my first reaction was the right one. Following his train of thought to it’s logical conclusion, he was more or less saying that no matter how wonderful an experience might be, the possibility that it might involve pain makes it something to avoid, and, in my opinion, no one should go through life with a philosophy like that. Even if my mother had lived to be 60, the pain of her passing would now be dull, but my memories of her would not be. So there’s something else I need to teach my kid someday, maybe when they have their first crush. I just need to think of a better way to say it.
21 days until baby.