But life leads us in the direction we need to go, and we get little hints along the way.
My dad had a heart attack one year after I was married, and the rug was pulled out from underneath me. Hercules in the eyes of his daughter – the man who could do just about anything, fix just about anything, build just about anything. I spoke to him on the phone from his hospital bed. As he told me about his experience - that he lost feeling in both his arms, and struggled to breathe but still refused to accept that something was wrong – I lost it. I felt so helpless. My dad - who so lovingly raised me, who woke up with us before school when I was in 5th grade to help me curl my hair, who was so strict with me as a teenager (which I now realize was his way of showing he loved me), and now that I am an adult, who never lets me leave without telling me he loves me – was sick.
My memory of him in the hospital will stay with me always. The nurse, in awe of all the long-staying guests in the room asked him, “how many children do you have?” to which he responded, “I have a double King’s ransom… two boys and two girls”. I looked at her face, and realized that my dad was the luckiest man alive, not because he had survived his heart attack, but because he had a family. I knew in my heart that my life would not be complete without children.
Just one month later, my husband’s step-dad lost his long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children up until the moment that he died.
On a recent trip to the Washington Coast with my extended family, I retired early after putting my girls to bed, and listened to the clatter of my family in the next room.
I thought of the modern concept of family, and how it's like math. What begins as simple addition (marriage, children), division (divorce), subsequent addition (re-marry) and sometimes subtraction (death) eventually becomes multiplication (grandchildren) and then evolves into algebra (in-laws, etc.)
Sticking with the mathematical analogy, which component does a family need in order to continue to exist?
I've been asked quite a few times why I changed my mind about having children. Instead of relaying the above, I tell them this:
If my 30-year old self could have a conversation with my 50-year old self, what would I say?
My best, logical guess would be To Have Children.
|Twins + Grandpa = Happy|