Friday, October 26, 2012

what's on my mind: on turning thirty-three.

Excited about turning another year older?  Nah. 

Nervous about turning another year older?  Yes, scared out of my mind some days. 

My mother died from a glioblastoma multiforme, which happens to be a very aggressive form of brain cancer, at age 36.  

I'm sure you can do the math, but this birthday means that I'll be just three short (because time just seems to fly now that I have a kid) years away.  In three years, I'll be the same age as she was when she passed.  The same age she was when I saw her in a casket. 

That makes me so sad, scared, and yes, even a little bitter even 20 years later.  Not bitter for me but for her. Bitter because she didn't get to see her children grow up (well, at least not on this Earth).   I can literally feel my heart rate increasing and heart start pounding at the thought of what if I don't get to see Preston grow up. 

My mom's mother also passed at a very young age from melanoma.  My family's medical history is not a stellar one.  I find myself constantly asking and praying that I'll break that trend, and that my sister will break that trend, also. 

These aren't new fears or feelings.  In fact I've had these feelings off and on for a while (disclaimer: yet still lived/live like I'm invincible at times with some degree of irresponsibility)   They're just starting to surface more now that I'm knocking on that door. 

In fact, truth be told that Mr. Gherkin learned of these fears about seven years ago when we met with a financial advisor for the first time.   Mr. FA (financial advisor) was recommending that I put this much money away in a 401k, this much money away in a Roth IRA, and that I put at least this much money into a 529 once I had kids.  

I stopped him mid-sentence with, "I'm not going to put all my money away in retirement funds so that when I'm dead and gone my husband can go tramping around Europe with some other woman on my money."   

Yep, that really happened (hangs head low in shame - but only a little).

The Gherkin's mouth fell open probably in disgust, but Mr. FA didn't flinch as he replied, "That's when you leave your money to your dog in a will." 

I had a lot of explaining to do after that (especially since we were getting married in just a few months after that), but I basically was scared of saving money because, well, you can't take it with you when you go. 

I do put money away in a Roth, a 401k, and a 529 fund by the way.  I've come a long way.  Don't get me wrong, though.  If I want something, I buy it.  See last sentence of last paragraph

I knew I'd feel this way as I progressed through my thirties.  I'm not surprised.  Thirty is not the new twenty for me.  Maybe forty will be.  

I try real hard to stay in the moment, in the here and now, which is quite a task for this type A personality.  I'm trying to me more intentional.   My 31 days series is coming to an end (I posted daily up until yesterday and then just flat out didn't feel like writing anything yesterday).   As I said before I chose this topic of being more intentional so to respond to what I considered little nudges from the holy spirit to live with intent.  It's ironic that the series will end on my birthday.  A birthday that I'm not really looking forward to, but it just so happens that my birthday is a pretty fun day.  A day that I can live and enjoy through the eyes of my son as he plays dinosaur in his costume and trick-or-treats through the neighborhood.

Who of you by worrying can add one single hour to your life? If you can not do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest.
Luke 12:25 NIV

I don't know how many tomorrows I'm promised, but I do get today and I'm going to make today pretty special.   I mean it's not everyday that I get to eat lunch with a dinosaur.  :)


Missy said...

Love you friend!

That just may be the cutest dinosaur ever!!

A Big Little Life said...

Thanks for sharing this so candidly. I think everyone can be burdened by their fears at different points.

That is one cute dinosaur!

Anna said...

I think most moms have these fears in some form or another. My grandmother died of pancreatic cancer and then several other young people I know died of a cretic cancer, so now I'm afraid of it too. My head goes into the spin cycle and I have to ask God to please, please help me. Thanks for sharing this. We are not alone.

Breann said...

You aren't going anywhere anytime soon sister!
Love the comment about Europe!!!

Jules said...

What a great post! I too have the same fears, and cling to that same scripture for comfort! It's so easy to worry the moments away, but it sounds like you have such a great outlook on life and are definitely living it up and being intentional :)

Brooke said...

I had no idea that your mom had a GBM. My step-father (who Harris is named after) is celebrating 4 years of survival from GBM this month. And yes, we realize and are SO thankful for how rare of a case his is. It is an ugly kind of cancer and my heart hurts to know your young self had to see your mom go through this. Thank you for such a sweet post.