I probably won’t die, but just in case…

On Wednesday, I’m having surgery.  In the big scheme of things, it’s minor.  A tonsillectomy.  (Luckily, a coblation tonsillectomy which should hurt a little less than the traditional deal.)  And though I’ve been promised that “it’s gonna hurt like hang”, I’m hoping for a good outcome.  Excruciating pain for a few days will be much, much better than this bi-monthly recurring dull & frustrating throat and ear pain to which I am accustomed.

But I have to admit that while I am looking forward to next week when I can eat what I want and swallow without crying, I am not looking forward to the surgery or recovery.  I’ve had enough surgical procedures to know that I don’t take well to anesthesia.   I also know that although I can be a really big wuss when I stub my toe, when it comes to the major pain I take it like a big girl.  I can be tough.  I will be tough.

But right now?
Right now I’m scared.

And I can’t help but wonder about the what ifs?
What if something happens and I can’t sing anymore…or, God forbid, speak!
That would be devastating.

What if that 1% of fatal complications is me?
What if, at 30 years and some odd days, I’m through?  My jig is up?

I know it’s unlikely, and I know I should just push it out of my mind.

But I can’t.

And so I find myself sitting here thinking and typing instead of packing for the hospital trip.

And I wonder…what if I died?

Morbid, I know…but hang with me a minute.

I’m not worried about my afterlife.  I am a Christian and I do believe in heaven.
And I believe that should I die, I’d go there.
(Although I must admit that the image of mansions and streets of gold don’t really…um…fit the bill of my idea of heaven.)

But what I do worry about is what I’d leave behind.

Obviously I’d hate to leave Marshall and the children.
For selfish reasons, I’d like to be around to see the children grow up,
and to be old and gray with Marshall, holding hands on the front porch while watching the sun set.

But even that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m going back to that damn purpose problem.
Is my purpose fulfilled?
How can I even know if I’ve fulfilled my purpose if I don’t even know what my purpose is?

Have I been a good enough mother, wife, friend, person?
Would I be leaving behind a legacy that I’d be proud of?
(Would it bother me in heaven that I ended that sentence with “of” instead of saying “legacy of which I’d be proud”?
‘Cause it sure ’nuff bothers me on earth…but it also sounds weird.)

Would I be remembered for making a positive impression on people?
Would I be remembered for always doing my best to help and encourage others?
Would I be remembered as a nice person?

I don’t believe that nicer people get a better seat in heaven.
And I’m a big believer in faith, not works.
And although it’s ultimately not about the stuff I did or didn’t do, I still wanted to be remembered fondly.

I want to be remembered as a good person, a fair person, a loving person.
I want to be one of those people that others remember with a smile.

Remember the time Bridget did so and so?
Remember how she’d make us laugh?

I want to be remembered for speaking kindly to and of others.
I want to be remembered for being gentle and fair.
I want to be remembered for being loving and witty.

I want to be remembered for being a good provider for my family,
and for being strong, graceful and cheerful,
and for being sensible and thoughtful.

And if I want to be remembered for that kind of stuff, I need to be sure that I’m doing that stuff now.

And so here, while I sit and struggle with my silly purpose dilemma,
I realize that my purpose isn’t really a one-purpose kind of thing.
It’s a call to be authentic and genuine and loving.
My purpose is to do good and to love others.

And my purpose above all purposes is to teach my children how to do these things.

And that?  If I can do that…well I will have succeeded in fulfilling my purpose.
And I will be remembered.

14 Responses to I probably won’t die, but just in case…
  1. @chambanalaura
    February 22, 2010 | 9:07 pm

    I hope your surgery and recovery go smoothly, and you are able to put your mind at ease as well.

  2. DesignherMomma
    February 22, 2010 | 9:07 pm

    the jig is not up for you. I will be praying for your recovery. I also will be praying for copious amounts of Popsicles heading your way…

  3. Carmen
    February 22, 2010 | 9:07 pm

    I’d remember that you sat with me and made me feel comfortable when I was about to have a freak out.

    When you go for anesthesia, tell them you don’t handle it well. This last time, they gave me something for anxiety as well as something for nausea – and ANOTHER something for nausea while I was under – and it was a literal breeze.

    I’ll be thinking of you.

  4. Marshall
    February 22, 2010 | 9:12 pm

    Well, if the nature of our children is evidence of what you’ve taught them, then I would have to say that you’ve already taught them all of these things. Our children are kind, sensitive to the needs of others, and more mature than I had hoped they would be at this age, and yet they still play and laugh like they should at this age. I know that I’m biased, but I think that you already model strength, grace, cheerfulness, thoughtfulness, and your legacy is already secure. I’m looking forward to seeing you continue to grow in all of these things and more, and I’m also looking forward to the gray-haired front porch sunset days. (I know that you’re in good hands Wednesday, and I’m confident of a good outcome!).

    You’re already more of what you strive for than you realize! I love you!

  5. Issa
    February 22, 2010 | 9:26 pm

    I think you will have a very, very long time to think about all of this. Say the next 80 years? I know you will be fine. I just know it. I also know going into surgery is scary. I agree with Carmen, have them give you something for the anxiety. It does help. Oh and ice cream. I hear ice cream is a must.

    Hey B? You wanna hear something funny? I mean I have tons of memories of you…yay BH..like our waitress at dinner that night. However, remember when we first got to the hotel and we were trying to find the restaurant and you and your cousin were following me? Even though I’d never been to Chicago and when I said I was guessing, you said: well you just seemed like you somehow could find it. And I found us that chocolate store? The one, that I never managed to find again? This is just one thing I will always remember about you. I say that, because I know we’ll make more memories one day…although hopefully then you will remember I am horrible at directions. 🙂

  6. Allison M
    February 22, 2010 | 9:37 pm

    Praying for you!

  7. MommaLionessMichele
    February 22, 2010 | 9:55 pm

    Good Luck with the surgery – I will be thinking of you this week!

  8. punkinmama
    February 22, 2010 | 10:16 pm

    Your jig is not up because I have not been blessed with the pleasure of meeting you in person yet!

    You are in good Hands. And no, I’m not talking about the doctors. HE is in control. I will be praying that the surgery goes well, that you don’t have bad reactions to the anesthesia, that recovery will go smoothly, that the pain will be minimal, and that you’ll have lots and lots of ice cream!

    You are a wonderful person and I really do look forward to the day I get to meet you!

  9. domestic extraordinaire
    February 23, 2010 | 7:21 am

    I will be praying for you-and i know your jig isn’t up. God wouldn’t have put you in my life only to take you away before I get to see you again.

    Much love to you.


  10. Heather
    February 23, 2010 | 2:36 pm

    I think of stuff like this all the time.

    And it doesn’t help. It makes me all the more nutty!

    I don’t know what my purpose is either.

  11. Mama
    February 23, 2010 | 8:12 pm

    Don’t worry or fret over your purpose. Just continue to live and love as you already do. You are in my prayers! I love you!

  12. Daddy
    February 25, 2010 | 8:15 am

    I am 55 and still looking for my purpose but then again my purpose may have been to see that you and your brother had a purpose. You both do and I think you are working on yours daily. The Lord only knows what your bother’s is however. Hang in there and one day it all will be clear to you that you were given a task by God to do and you not only did it but did it the very best that it could have been done.
    I love you and although I don’t say it often I am very proud of you and all you do!
    Now take you pani/pain meds and get better quickly. You have a group at home waiting on your return.

  13. Kaspar
    February 26, 2010 | 8:17 pm

    I promise I’ll tell people you were nice. 🙂