Friday, October 29, 2010

Dear Mom and Dad, If I die today...

*Don't be alarmed dear readers, this hasn't happened yet. And probably won't. But if it did...*

Dear Mom and Dad,

If I die today, there are a few things I want you to know.

And I had this feeling. This terrifying feeling. Of what if this is it. What if I died today.

Now obviously I'm just being morbid. Paranoid and anxious and overdramatic. (Per usual). I know, I know. I know you know too. You know who I am. You always have.

But my head really does hurt. A lot. And I feel nautious. And light-headed. And sort of out of it. All I can think about is lovely Leam Neeson's lovely wife. Who had a simple spill on the bunny slope skiing and barely bumped her head. She complained of a slight headache and then she was gone. An aneurism or a blood clot or something in her brain they said. As a result of her fall they said. We should all take any sort of head injury or head trauma more seriously they said. One minute I was watching her raising money for AIDs on a Top Chef episode, and the next I was watching news she had died - leaving her lovely husband and her lovely children behind. I thought about seeing a doctor right now myself faced with such a fate. A preventative measure. Because you never know. But how much trouble would that cause - getting all worked up over nothing. How silly I will feel if it is nothing. Because it is nothing. And I'll awake tomorrow and feel fine. But you never know. If I did die today...

I've never been married. I never had children. But I want you to know that's okay. I never wanted to get married the way other young women seemed to do. I never fantasized about what my dress would look like or what flowers I would have or who would be my bridesmaids. If anything, I repelled the idea of both, like an ugly chartreuse sweater I'd never wear because it washed out my skin and made me look fatter, and let's face it mom, was likely picked out by you. And in regards to that last comment I don't know why I've always been such a brat; I didn't want to be. I tried not to be. I really did.

Therefore, sans husband and sans kids, you two were the companions of my life to date and my soulmates. You gave me the life that no one deserves but everyone hopes for. Dad was right to say I've had a charmed life. More comfort and happiness than most will feel in a lifetime of living.
Thank you for the pumpkin picking, the massive Christmas trees, the music box on my 15th birthday that you don't think I appreciate but I do, the piano lessons, the singing lessons, my education, the trips to Europe, especially to Rome, when you painted my kitchen that beautiful "River Rock" gray-blue and when you edited all those English papers. Thank you for being nice to all my Republican boyfriends. I'm sorry I couldn't bring a blue-dog home. I don't know what my problem is. Thank you for challenging me to be smarter. To listen to NPR and watch documentaries. To read quality books and see quality films and take in the theatre as often as luxury can afford it. Thank you Dad for teaching me about wine and helping me avoid all that is "pedestrian." For watching the Redskins with me, coming to see me play lacrosse and even wearing a basketball tie against your conservative dressing sensabilities on game day. For teaching me to strive for a job where I love what I do, for valuing hard work and contributing to the community. Thank you for requiring me to be better. A nicer daughter and neighbor and friend. Thank you for trying to teach me forgiveness and patience and serenity. I never got there, but I have less regrets than I would have otherwise.

Tell my brother he's the only sibling I ever had; the only one that ever mattered. That his friendship meant everything. That I'm sorry for all the "superpinches" and that I only bugged him because I wanted to be cool like him. Remind him of the sneak-attack fart in the basement, (he'll know what I mean) and the night we stayed up all night before he went off to college and when we spent all those hours during Christmas Break playing Super Mario Brother's galaxy on the Wii. Just being with him was what made it memorable. How he made me laugh till I cried and my stomach hurt. How he's the the most interesting, most talented, most amazing person I've ever met. That I want him to find a girl that truly deserves him. Someone "awesome" not just someone "smokin' hot." And more importantly, someone not completely bat-shit crazy like all the girls he's dated since forever. Also that I don't need to live past the age of 27 to know that he's going to be ridiculously successful, but I'm sorry not to be around to see it happened just the same. Mostly, just tell him that I loved him. And that any differences or bygones we ever had was long forgotten. Tell Grandma I thought about those days in Ohio learning to sew quilts and picking vegetables in the garden more than she knows. And that those Starbucks cards and "hand-shake 50's," while material things, made me think she was the raddest oldster around. And that if I had lived to be 85, I'd have wanted to be just like her. Steadfast and true and selfless beyond measure.

If you clean out my stuff and you find my old diaries, fight your curiosity and just throw them out. Please! There are just some things parents should never know about their child. Ever. And I'm sorry my financial and personal affairs are in such disarray. I was never one for organization was I? Luckily, a death certificate should shut up everyone up I should think. And what money and stock or personal belongings I have goes to you and Dad and D. Give it to D.

I hope you don't think I died unhappy. The last couple of years have been tough that's true. Maybe I would've liked to have achieved more professional success. And against all odds and current sentiments, maybe I would've liked to have gotten married and had children too. Who knows? But I've almost believed God truly exists so many days walking home from school or work when I admired the endless,rustling leaves on our tree-lined street. And the bubbles tickling my tongue from glasses of prosecco. And the care of gingerale and a palm on my forehead when I was sick. And I've danced in a thunderstorm on a steamy hot summer day. I know what a runner's high feels like and what those prawns in Portugal taste like. I've wind-walked the Sydney bridge, scuba dived on the Great Barrier Reef, learned to make Chicken Piccata and chocolate souffles and I won my first trial. I've loved and been loved by a good man unconditionally. The way that makes you feel beautiful and full of hope that anything is possible. I've been proud of myself. And I have felt happiness. Pure joy and happiness.

And I didn't die in pain or uncomfortable or miserably sad. Yes I have a headache and yes just writing this blog post is making me cry and yes I do in fact feel a little out of sorts. But on the bright side I'm about to watch trash tv and drink a bottle of Dad's wine without his permission. (Don't worry I took an inconsequential, inexpensive Chianti instead of the WSJ Malbec I really wanted because on the chance I do live I dont want to face Dad's wrath). Trust me, this isn't a bad way to spend your last few hours. Typical bliss if you ask me.

I could go on and on and on. So many memories. So many thank yous and apologies and forgiveness to convey. But all that matters is that I know you loved me. And that I love you. And that I'm sorry I couldn't stay a little longer. But that I cherished our family and my short time here on earth. That I hope you will stay healthy and take care of each other and try to move on without me.

Dearest mom and dad, if I die was everything. And you gave me that.

All my love,


Judy said...

I doubt Mom thinks you were a brat.... seriously.


Toddy said...

Judy-thanks for your comment. I actually think my mom might agree I have indeed been a brat at times but I think for the most part,thankfully, she thinks Im pretty great and is my biggest fan. We all have our moments no?!

Anonymous said...

I don't cry a lot, but this made me well up. Your life is VERY similar to mine, and so much of what you said is so much of what I've thought about telling my folks and my 2 sisters for years. It's a beautiful letter and your parents, and your brother, should be very proud. Thanks for sharing.

Toddy said...

Phnx65-Thank you for your very kind words. I checked out your blog today and loved it. We do seem VERY similar. Our point of view, situations in life, tone of voice etc. So if someone reading this likes my posts they'll like Phnx's so click on her name/link and check her out.

Judy- I clicked on your name and got "Butt Ugly Sweaters" Blog! What? Is that right? Ill try to read it more or realize my mistake a lil later.

Cheers! T

Toddy said...

P.s. Thank you to DC Blogs for the Monday roundup shoutout! Go check out