Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fears triggered

Anissa Mayhew had a massive stroke yesterday.

I'll admit: I had no idea who Anissa Mayhew even was before yesterday. But every other mommy blogger on Twitter certainly did, and so now I do too. Here's the thing: she's about my age, and a mom to three. And one day, out of the deep wide freaking blue, she had a massive stroke. (Her second, as I understand it, in four years.)

What the fuck?

Of course my heart aches for her family. And though I know that this is not the time to be thinking about myself, I can't help but personalize it. Can't stop the "what if that was me..."

It terrifies me. But it's not the stroke I'm afraid of; not a disease or a health battle or, god forbid, death that terrifies me. It's not what happens to me that terrifies me. It's what happens to my son.

What happens to The Kid?

And then today I read this post on Who would take care of your kids in a dire emergency? I am very lucky to have several people on whom I can rely for short-term emergency care. But what if it's not short-term? What if it's forever?

What happens to The Kid?

His father would get custody, that's what would happen. And that's not the worst thing in the world. His dad's not (usually) dangerous. But he's WAY more like a crappy babysitter than a parent. And I don't want him raising my son.

(Whoops. Our son.)

Now, to be fair, I don't want anyone raising The Kid except me. But if I was on my deathbed and forced to relinquish my mommyhood, there are people out there with whom I would feel comfortable leaving him; people who I would trust to care for him and nurture him; people who maybe wouldn't raise him exactly the way I would, but who I know would always have his best interest in mind.

My exhusband is not one of those people.

And so comes to light one of my greatest fears: leaving my son before he's through needing me; leaving him in the hands of someone I'm certain would fail him. As a mother, is there really anything more terrifying?

If you pray, maybe do a little of that for Anissa and her family tonight. If you don't, make your happy thoughts or do a little rain dance, or tell a good joke and bring some smiles to the universe. And hug someone you love. Or even someone you don't.


adrienzgirl said...

I used to have that fear A LOT. When I was a single mom. When my daughter was little. Hell, even until she turned 18 at the end of September. I know that my ex-husband would have cared for her, but not the way she needed to be cared for!

I don't worry so much these days. My boys have the most awesome dad. If something happened to me I know that my sweetheart today would take care of business!!

It'll all work out the way it's supposed to in the end.

Nicki said...

I share your fears. I have often worried about their father having to actually parent. Because the reality is that right now, I parent and he's fun dad. And if he suddenly had to be on top of things and involved...chaos would reign supreme.

So, I try to take care of myself. And I try to be careful not to put myself in harm's way. And with a little luck that will, hopefully, be enough.

Momma Sunshine said...

I'm lucky that that my ex is a good father and very involved in the lives of our daughters. If, God forbid, anything were to happen to me, they would have a very loving and supportive father to raise them.

I can relate to what you're talking about here, too. I've never met Anissa and only had vague knowledge of who she was before all of this happened. When something like this happens, it's only natural to start thinking, "what if it were me?"

My thoughts and prayers are with Anissa, her family and friends right now.

Jodie Ansted said...

This has highlighted, yet again (and thankfully) that Hubby and I need to change our wills.

We had a couple listed to take our kids should something (God forbid) happen to both of us, and since then, we've become very detached from them, and closer to other family members that we were not particularly close with before. I just found a new lawyer recently, so I think this is kinda like a sign to get this done.

We have never been away without the kids, but we've already decided that should we fly somewhere without them, we'll take separate planes. Sounds over the top, but you know what? You just never know. I'd much rather it be either Hubby or I who look after our kids. That's the absolute best option, so if we can find a way to make sure that happens, we'll do it!

T said...

I have been following Anissa for a while but I had NO IDEA about her previous stroke until I read about this one.

Can't. Even. Imagine.

Thankfully, I do have a great ex husband and I do have a will. What I don't have... that I should look into.... is life insurance.


Big City Dad said...

That's so sad. I worry about that in that my Ex, while great with my daughter when she's with her, tends to dump her in daycare or babysitting even though she only has 50% custody. It was a real problem when we were married as well. She's too selfish to realize that her daughter needs her as much as possible. What would concern me the most if something happened to me is that Miss M would get no perspective on what it's like to grow up in a loving, healthy, close knit family. Ex's family is a disaster and if I were out of the picture, she'd cut off contact with my parents and sister, which would be very sad. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

This my absolute biggest fear. My ex is 3000 miles away and my daughter sees him 2 times a year. She doesn't know him really (and vice versa). I could think of a thousand people I'd trust her with over him.

So I take a deep breath and pray that God protects my daughter no matter what (and I'm not a prayer)...

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