The Sting of Preparing

I think one of the first things that crossed my mind when I understood I have a very serious cancer was all of the milestones I would miss in the kids lives.  You can’t help but hurt about it a little bit.


Since then I’ve been telling myself that I should prepare for it.  Get cards and write notes for the major life events that I will likely miss.
I’ve been putting it off for one reason or another but decided today was the day.  I think mostly because I feel great today.  I would rather do this on a day that I physically (and mentally) feel awesome than on a day where I feel like I’m squeezing it in because my health is failing.  I’m sure I will have better things to say to their future selves when I’m feeling very much like I’m still in the game.  And hopefully I will get to deliver as many of these in person as possible.

Even though I’m on top of my game today there is still a very weird feeling about buying cards for events that won’t happen for another 10 years or more.  Hopefully MJ will remember to hold on to them.  She’s not one to keep ANYTHING around so this may be quite a challenge for her.

photo 2

I walked into the Hallmark store with my list of life events.
Birthdays, Graduations, Wedding, Baby.
Everything I could think of.
There were three extremely friendly and overly helpful older women working there.  Not sure if they were bored or just really good at their jobs.
I didn’t want or need help.  I was trying to avoid it actually but they kept checking in every few minutes. “Finding everything OK?”  Ugh. Yes. Yes, I am.

I finally got all of my cards and dropped them on the counter for checkout.
The woman immediately made a comment about buying quite the stack of cards.  I didn’t say anything right away but thought to myself, “It’s been awhile since I’ve made people feel awkward!” so I told her that I have cancer and was getting cards for my kids major life events.  BAM.  Silence.
Then she put her hand on mine and told me how sweet that was and blah blah something else.  Anyway.  I guess I would’ve expected them to see more people card shopping for future events but I guess not.
(BTW…  In case you were curious- for cheaper cards for two kids major life events, it’ll run about $35.)

So now I have a bunch of cards to write and I have no idea what to say.  I’m sure it’ll come to me as I sit down and think it out.  But it’s weird.  It’s weird writing to a kid that you know as a 12 year old who will be 18 or 21 or maybe even 28 by the time he reads it.  Plus it just makes me think about what it’ll be like on their wedding day and I’m just sad. Right now part of me is so proud of myself to get this done and the other part of me is just bummed out.  So much for being prepared.

4 thoughts on “The Sting of Preparing

  1. Wow what an aweaome thing to do. The words don’t matter as much as the fact they have a card for each major event…you may even be here to deliver them in person! Mary Jo would never dispose of these. I take the blame for teaching her to be a “pitcher. “

  2. So love you Heather!!! A very thoughtful process. With your every blog I read, and their pure, honest and unapologetic out loud thoughts (…well some thoughts have warnings or pre-apologies); your brave travel adventures, hospitalizations, surgery, chemo, depth of the friendships, and genuine sense of self and humor…I am still learning from you. I’m learning how to be human. More like, how to be a better human. Thank you! I still have a lot to learn, keep it coming babe! And one last thing…why do pears cost so much at Costco? Love ya!

    PS – I am sure MaryJo would guard those cards with her life, but maybe a keepsake box with all the cards inside, given by you in person when the time is right, would ease any concerns you have about them getting lost in the shuffle. Love ya Heather!

  3. These are too precious for Mary Jo to ever forget about or lose. As for what you write in them, it’s your love that matters the most.

  4. Heather – Just look at it as an exercise in whether your advice changes from now to when you are opening the cards with them at the events. It will be fun for you to see what you wrote when you are in your early 40s to what you will say when you are in your late 40s, 50s and 60s. I have faith you will be there and writing the cards doesn’t mean that you are giving up your faith that you will be there it is just like buying insurance. Love ya! Aunt Kristi

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