I Can’t Stop Thinking About My Own Mortality
By Tanya Dodd-Hise
I think that I need therapy.
No really. I have been obsessing a little bit about things that I have absolutely no control over. And what have I been obsessing over, you might ask?
As everyone knows, I am a new mom again. Our baby girl is 11 months old. I was 41 years old when she was born. And I know that nowdays, all kinds of women are having babies at 35, 40, 45, even 50 years old. But I remember, before she was born, standing in the shower when the thought hit me: when this baby is MY age, I will be 82. Oh my God.
I guess because I don’t feel 42 years old, this was a realization that hit me hard and has been hitting me regularly since. I feel young, I feel healthy (for the most part – working on it), I feel active – I mean hell, I didn’t run my first 5K until I was 42 years old! But the fact of the matter is that I actually have been on this earth for close to half of the time that will (I hope) be alotted.
To top it off, my oldest son, Nicholas, and his wife are going to make me a grandmother in the near future (January). Now don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled and excited to meet my granddaughter! And this is the ONE scenario where I actually feel young – WAY too young to be a grandmother! It’s like I am caught in a very odd place, where I feel kind of old to be a new mom, but still feel very young to be a grandmother. I tell people that my darling son has done me wrong, because now when I am out and about with both of the baby girls, people are likely to ask me if they are both my granddaughters. Then there will be explanations about Harrison being my daughter and Zoe being my granddaughter. Son…you did me wrong…
But there are times when my mortality hits me, and I freak out, despite the knowledge that there’s nothing I can do about it. None of us can! I was driving the other day with Erikka and the kids, and she started daydreaming about Harrison getting married. That set off the sad thoughts in my head of how old I could be when that happens. What if she doesn’t marry until she is in her 30s? That puts me in my 70s. What if she doesn’t have kids until her 30s or 40s, like her mommies? That puts me in my 70s or 80s, God willing. Then the thoughts hit me that anything could happen between now and then, and I could very well not be here at all. These thoughts start a landslide of scenarios that are always in the back of my mind that would prevent me from seeing my kids and grandkids grow up, or experiencing a lifetime with my wife. I obsess about car accidents almost every time I go out, with or without kids. I worry about plane crashes every time I step foot on one (should NEVER have watched “Lost”). I worry about breast cancer with each passing year, because it is so prevalent in my family, and because I, as a small business owner, am going on another year without health insurance. As these thoughts and fears came swirling in my head as we drove that day, I got so emotional and said, “I just hate knowing that there is an expiration date. I want to be with my family, with my wife, forever. I don’t want it to end.” I know. It is probably not healthy to have these thoughts on a regular basis. I just want to be here for them and with them…always. It’s probably not normal, I know this.
But like I said in the beginning, I think that I need therapy.