by PATRICIA MILLER
Dedicated to my beautiful Christina and Anthony: A letter about life.
Death. It’s one of those words. The kind no one likes to say hear or think about. Some so much so it causes panic or addictive behavior to take over.
When we are young, we don’t think about it too often. We carry on in a way that seems like death is not even a factor to our existence.
Unless it is.
Then if you are a young person faced with death and all its uncertainties, many things can be assumed to be the result of that loss. Then somewhere in life you hit a certain age and it’ undeniable– people start dying.
At first, it’s the aging parents of friends or our own parents. Then all of a sudden, more and more, it’s “ Your people.” The ones you laughed with, shared your children’s birthdays with, made plans with.
They begin to die. Some from cancer– okay a lot from cancer and illness. Some because they drove too fast or took a risk at something. Some just because it’s the way its meant to be.
We are suddenly left with these thoughts and ideas of “why?” “What am I doing this all for?”
“ I can break my back at work all day, day in and day out and then… die? ”
It’s a conversation that’s been happening since the dawn of time. Do any of us ever really have or find the answers? No. But we find a reason, a reason to go on in the uncertainty of life. We choose surgeries that may shorten that life. We look for answers and signs from fate that we are doing the right things.
But do we ever know for sure?
Most people would argue no, we do not.
I will disagree. When a mother and father hold their newborn baby in their arms, it’s more than that breathtaking moment o f relief and joy. While yes, there is a sense of contentment in the end of a cycle that was fragile and uncertain, your life will never again be certain or secure. It is in that very baby’s eyes, that the world will make complete sense. Maybe not all at once, but over time, you will understand every struggle, every choice and every accomplishment you have had in life was training you for the journey ahead with this child (and the others that may follow).
There were times when caring for my own children taught me the skills I needed to care for my mother as we lost her in hospice. Everything you face as you begin this journey together will be stepping stones to who you will become. I know you feel so whole now. So complete in your established careers and beautiful home, but nothing will make you feel the way a baby does.
There will be moments when you want to scream, or cry, o r say what have I done to our perfect lives, but there are two things I wish for you both.
No. 1. It’s an old saying for a reason. The days the months the years will feel so plentiful in the beginning. They are moving at a speed unknown to us mere humans and in the blink o f an eye this baby will be 15 and ready to move on to their next stage in life. If you do not cherish and share every day every moment to the best of your ability, it will be a regret far heavier than any person should have to carry. You can make more money you cannot get more time. Please please always remember this.
No. 2, Go Team! Remember that you are a team. No matter how hard the times get from midnight feedings to feeling lost in life to just the everyday struggles, you are a team. As parents and as a family.
People laugh that we say “#Teammiller” but it is a motto we always wanted our children to know. We choose things together from dinners, to trips to chores. We are a team. Teammates don’t always like each other and they don’t always play well together, but teammates are always a team. You can’t quit this team. Remember what you have now. You are both so in love and dedicated to each other, never forget who your mate is, truly down deep.
That’s the person you are making a family with. Not the monster who hasn’t had sleep in three days and is still in the same pajamas and may or make not have baby spit up on their pajamas and may o r may not b e crying into their coffee about how much you don’t appreciate them. That will pass. Remember the person you love is down deep inside, way way deep down, but they are still there and they love you too.
Then the day will come when you will get to see the ones you love have babies and it will be so exciting to watch them begin the journey you have gone through. It will be the best feeling in the world to love and hold and spoil a beautiful baby, and then go home.
I couldn’t be any more excited for the arrival of this beautiful baby. And what a lucky baby he or she will be. I mean after all I’m the greatest aunt ever. I’ve waited a very long time to see a baby that is part Anthony and there is no one better to be the other half then you Christina.
I love you both and the mini Vespa.
Patricia Miller is a weight loss surgery patient advocate and volunteer. Find her live on Facebook every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Follow Fusion Union on Facebook to catch the live broadcast and ask questions.