On Death & Dying | What To Do Before Your Parents Die

A pretty morbid topic for this beautiful, sunny Sunday, no? It's not that bad, I swear.

Last night as I was driving home from what my parents called a "European dinner" - we had eaten later than any of us would have liked to, but in Europe, dinner is a 9PM feast that allows you to fuel your body for the clubbing it's about to endure until the wee hours of the morning.

As I'm whizzing past the standard boulevard mayhem (it's now nearing 11PM, I'm sleepy, and people don't know how to drive), Cazzie David comes to mind.

Her InStyle article about moving back home with her dad post college struck a chord with me. It's a gentle reminder that all of us are dying - maybe not at a rapid pace, but we are all dying.

Let me clarify. Everyone dies at some point or another. In one way or another, we're all going to stop breathing; cease to live; bite the dust. To be frank, "no one has never not died."

Okay, confession time. I think about losing my parents more than I should. More specifically, I think about the amount of shambles my life would be in if Mom were to croak. It physically pains me to write this, because I feel like I'm cursing her in some way. David's article helped to alleviate some of the taboo around my thinking and obviously inspired this post. 

I spend some portion of every weekend with Mom. Whether it's sitting through an hour-long mass at church or rifling through bins of ribbon at A.C. Moore, I make time to hang out with her, and I like to think that she makes time to see me, too.

My parents got divorced when I was in second grade, and while it wasn't the typical divorce (my parents are still friends - #blessed) that doesn't change the fact that I was raised in a single parent home. Yes, my dad was present, paid child support, and had us every other weekend as the schedule demanded, but he didn't have to deal with the brunt of the work. That was Momma's job.

It was on her to keep us healthy and fed; clean up the mess after one of us had a tantrum; maintain the many pets we had, whether it was a cat or a hamster; attend parent-teacher meetings, drop us off at Girl Scouts, orchestrate summer camp, the list goes on. While I didn't recognize it then, all of the sweat, blood, and tears she put into making my sister and I decent human beings is very clear to me now. In an effort to repay her for all of this hard work, I choose to spend as much time with Mom as I can.

In turn, I find myself treasuring the little things more often. After a simple late night dinner or a trip to Sam's Club, I'm grateful. If I think too hard on it, I get emotional and start thinking about how much I'll miss all of this when she's gone. But then I remember that it doesn't do to dwell on what isn't and forget to live in what is. So instead of blubbering, I try to refocus my mind to embracing what's happening then, because one day all I'll have are these memories of my Mom and the kickass woman she is.