It sounds superstitious.
It is superstitious, but part of the reluctance to post has been a concern about tempting fate.
This life we’ve chosen, it’s outside the norm. Our children; their path is different from that of the vast majority of children.
We obviously think the path we’ve chosen is best for us or we wouldn’t have chosen it.
Our children are happy. They have lovely, laughter-filled, learning-filled, interesting-to-them, family-filled day after day.
I’m happy. I’m living the life I want.
As part of hospice and end-of-life doula training you think about your perfect end-of-life options and how you would need your life to change to bring that about. What people would you draw close to? What people would you stop seeing? What activities would you finally do?
This life I’ve got; this is it. These people, the ones I spend time with and learn about, these are the people I want. The ways we spend our days, the trips we take, the hobbies I have; this is it.
Buds would have to write his own vision of the life he wants, but most days seem to be a chosen path he loves. Certainly this family space is his favorite place to be.
This bubble around our life, it is sacred space to me. It can vanish with a too-quick left turn in front of a distracted driver, a visit to the doctor with unusual blood test results, or harsh light from a society that does not welcome alternate paths.
Our family will spend several days in Massachusetts this summer as we gather with Buddie’s co-Ephs for his 25th year college reunion. In preparation, the reunion committee published an updated “Facebook” with autobiographical essays from those who chose to submit them.
Buds and I have been fascinated by these 25-year snapshots of human lives. You can read Buddie’s essay here.
This morning, I read Denis Gainty’s. I’m not sure if Buds knew him at Williams, but if they had met, I think they would have been friends.
We won’t be meeting Denis at the reunion this year because he died unexpectedly on March 26, 2017. He sounds like he was a splendid human (as most of us do after we die.) But, I really believe we would have all gotten along from the final paragraph of the essay he submitted for the reunion book before he died.
“I’m including a picture of me with my kids. Here’s hoping that, through some happy chance, they get to find their own Williams.”
How beautifully that complements Buddie’s final paragraph:
“My time at Williams was sweet. In this open, internet world, I don’t know what Williams my children will find. Change comes and we try to meet it with an open heart.”
This understanding of children as people, not simply an extension of ourselves; acknowledging that life is a series of events that, if we are truly blessed, may lead to happy outcomes.
How delicious it is to me that these two men, one of whom has finished his journey, recognize that their children will/may find their own Williams; their own peaceful beautiful path, if they can.
I fully reject the idea that children should be putting off living the lives they envision until “later.” There may be no later, so supporting them as they wander through all the different ideas and options and travels and adventures, that brings me joy.
And sharing that joy via the blog, to a wider audience, that feels tenuous to me.
Am I tempting fate by broadcasting this joy? This diversion from the typical?
Processing that is part of the journey.
Addendum: I talked with Sarah at Williams this weekend about Denis. She didn’t know him well, but her memories of a splendid, joy-filled human indicate my instinct was right. He and Buds would have gotten along well.