Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hey there-

I was driving Arthur to his guitar lesson recently.

We got into one of those random conversations that happen in a car with a seven year old. Somehow it came up that I had only wanted to have one child and that after a while his dad and I had changed our minds and how lucky we were to have changed our minds because,"what would we do without you, Arthur?"

"Yea," he said enthusiastically from the backseat, "and I wouldn't have been able to go to San Antonio, or Yellowstone, or New York, or Florida......."

(I found it interesting that the trips we have taken were first on his mind of what he would have missed.)

In my usual fashion of giving too much information I tried explaining my belief that if he had not been born to Bob and I then his spirit would have gone to another family and maybe they would have gone on even better trips.

At this point we had arrived at our destination and were walking across the street towards the guitar shop. He looked up at me wide eyed after I said this and adjusted the guitar on his shoulder.

"Well, I would have had to run away from that family and find YOU mom," he said shaking his head and looking back down at the street.

A few days later I was washing dishes when Arthur started asking me some specifics about the time frame of Bob's death. He wanted to know how old he was when Bob died and the like. I didn't think much about it initially because this is not an unusual line of questioning around our house. But then he surprised me-

"Well, it's a good thing I wasn't born to that other family because you really needed me."

That statement made me pause.

I thought back to being early in my pregnancy with Arthur and the knife in the belly fear I felt when Bob was first diagnosed. I remembered Arthur being a newborn and Bob dying and the hazy exhaustion that consumed me. I remembered the many times I thought that I didn't need Arthur. As a matter of fact, I often thought about how much easier life would be without an infant to care for.

And then I thought about my friend's belief that children choose their parents. And my sister's belief that children come into the world knowing what their parents need from them.

I don't know why Bob and I changed our minds about a second child when we did.

I don't know why Arthur would have chosen to come into the situation he did.

But I'm glad we did and I'm glad he did.

Because one thing I do know is that Arthur was right, I did need him.

Thanks for checking in-



  1. This one brought a tear to my eye. My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for about a year when we decided to quit because the children we each already had (from previous relationships) were already big, both of our youngest were 9 almost 10 years old and how in just a few more years we would be "free". We imagined our lives and all we could do with no little ones to look after, and we were still pretty young ourselves. But of course as soon as we make the decision to "give up" I find out I am pregnant and into our lives is our precious baby Matthew. When Mike first died I regreted not having a second child then I thought about how we had decided to not have any more children at all, and how close I was to not having him. At the time I chalked it up to Murphy's Law not knowing the real reason for this little guy coming into our lives when he did. I know now it didnt matter how bad I did or didnt want a child at that time but that I needed HIM. Even on my saddest day he is the reason I smile.

  2. I hope he reads this when he is older. It is inspiring me to write such things down so that my kids can read later and go "ahhh - she really loves me!"

  3. Catrina-"Even on my saddest day he is the reason I smile". Amen! I am often so glad I have both of my children or otherwise I might think I just imagined Bob ever existed.

    Cathy- I hope he will read these some day too. If not I think I am pretty clear with him verbally and it is clear in the book how lucky we are to have him :-)

  4. Hi, Irene: First, if I may, yours is a beautiful soul and you are both helping people and doing Bob proud by keeping your voice so *alive* when that is by no means easy.

    I found myself led to your web site By that wonderfully synchronistic free-form rabbit-tunnel kind of path that tends to pop up in the realm of the Internet,through freshwidow.com. She had been led to me through my blog/ book, www.deathisanimpostor.com.

    I am glad to have found you. I really just wanted to take the time to extend a warm hand, in a spirit of simple gratitude, and say "Thank you for tending to all that has needed doing, even though the very idea is unthinkable." I want to say, Thank you for being. Thank you for shining your light in the world. It is so powerful a light, I feel, because you are no stranger to its absence. (Sometimes it feels to me as if the difference between total darkness and even one small, tiny flickering candle-flame is greater than the distance between the Earth and the sun.) In your sharing, you just may be sowing seeds of Hope.

    Sometimes love breaks down to honor and respect, and I feel those qualities strongly in the ways you mark your living devotion for Bob. I have no doubt that he is well, and he is with you. As one dear friend once asked me, "Isn't it wonderful that he doesn't have to miss you?"

    That Arthur is one truly special soul. He is a born teacher, and (I feel) he is saying, in the voice of a young boy (as close as words might capture it) "Oh Ma, I LOVE you so. PLEASE don't sell yourself short."

    May the New Year lift us all. Thank you, and take care--

    Paul Crockett
    Miami, FL