Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do We or Don't We?

“Mommy, he doesn’t have much time left to live. We have to go see him.” There were tears streaming down her face.

“Who are you talking about?”

“Mommy, it is Uncle J. He is getting really sick and we need to go see him soon. I think we really need to go within the next two weeks.”

“Sure honey, don’t cry. We will go and see Uncle J. I am sure we can do that sometime very soon. Try not to worry.” And with that, the conversation was forgotten, at least by me.

A week went by and I was taking Bridget to school. I n the car on the way there the request came again. “Mommy, when are you going to take me? I have to see him. He doesn’t have that much time left and I want to see him. I will even miss a day of school to go.”

This time I was paying closer attention. My husband had just talked to his sister who was told that they should get her husband’s affairs in order. All of a sudden, time was running out. This request which seemed out in left field at first was actually making sense.

“You are right Bridget. We do need to see Uncle J. He is getting sicker each day so we will make plans to see him soon.”

“Thanks, Mommy.”

I am not sure about this trip to see a dying uncle for my seven year old. On the one hand I think it is very brave, courageous and mature of her to want to see him but I also wonder if it will be too traumatic. She has experienced the fear of losing a parent first hand only the outcome was different. How will she really react to seeing a man who has lost fifty pounds and is grasping on to every bit of his life? I don’t know.

We called to schedule a trip in spite of my fears only to find out that this weekend is not a good one. So we will wait and see. I just hope that we don’t wait too long.


Chez said...

Jeanne, tears in my eyes, as I reflect on the sensitivity of your children.
I am so pleased you are 'listening' to the request.
Pray that Uncle J is well enough for the visit to take place.

Jeanne Marren Egan said...

Hi Chez,
It is so difficult. I know that when we see him it will be a shock to all of us. Just hoping we get there before it is too late.
Thanks fo your worods of wisdom.

Alli said...

Yes take your child. Otherwise they will always regret not seeing their relative and blame you as the reason. I have found that children are very tough. A number of years ago we lost members of our family one after another. My grandmother died, we moved in with her to help with her care. My son was 5 years old at the time, when she became so incapable of helping herself he would brush her white hair and just sit with her. When she passed away he gave her his 2 favorite Ninja Turtles to take to heaven, he put them in her casket, one for her and one for his great grandpa.
The following year my mother died. She was in hospital for many months. We saw her nearly every day, i drove an hour and back. My mother was terminal, i wanted him to have as much time with her as he could. in fact his teacher commented that it might not be in his best interest taking him to see her so often. What I told her was Adam has one grandmother mine just died at 94 my mom was 62, he was now jusy 6 years old. The time he spends with her now is all he will have for the rest of his life.

As for size, my mom was a big lady I never thought he noticed her weight loss. When she died, she was cremated at her request. During the Funeral service my son very loudly asked. Mommy, how did they stuff grandma in that little box when she was kind of fat?? It was that one moment when out of the mouths of babes ,,a serious moment gave everyone a chuckle....

Love Alli.....xx

Jeanne Marren Egan said...

Thanks Alli. We are definitely planning a trip to see him soon. The more I have asked around, the more that I hear we should take her to see him and we should all go as a family. People need closure and I know it is important.