If I die tomorrow: 6 ways it would stink and 7 ways I'd live on

stairway to clouds

My husband and I recently had yet another discussion on death and dying, as mid-life, long-married couples are wont to do. (It's not just us, right?) Our conversation led me to consider how it's often said that toward the end of life, many folks lament and regret not having said "I love you" often enough, if at all, to those they love the most.

I don't have that concern. I do tell my loved ones — often! — that I love them, how much they mean to me, how very blessed I am to have them in my life. I'm certain most family and friends have no doubt of my feelings for them.

I do have other concerns, though. In fact, if I were to die tomorrow, I'm concerned about the six particular ways that would stink. On the other hand, I take comfort in knowing there are at least seven ways in which I'd live on.

If I die tomorrow, 6 ways it would stink:

Only one grandchild will remember me. Bubby is old enough that even as an adult, he'll surely carry with him memories of Gramma. Mac and Jak are too young — and additional grandkiddos to come have yet to arrive — so all of them will have no memories, only stories and photos. That would stink.

I've not yet published a book. I've come so darn close to this, my primary professional goal, but it's not happened yet. Dying before it does would stink.

My extended family is still fractured. I tend to think that one day broken hearts and my broken sibling set will mend. "One day" wouldn't matter if tomorrow were the day I die. That stinks regardless.

My readers won't know. No one knows my passwords... or how to post on my blog. All of you would have no idea I'd kicked the bucket. That would stink.*

My adult daughters will need to text or call Jim to let him know they're okay. I hover, I bother, I bug and tell my girls "text me when you get home." Jim often forgets to turn up the sound on his phone — or turn on his phone at all — so he may miss their text or their call. That would stink.

Jim would spend the rest of his life knowing he was wrong. Many of our lengthy death and dying discussions end with Jim stating he will go first. If I die tomorrow, I would be first... and he'd be forever wrong. And sad. And that would stink. (Well, the "sad" part stinks; I kind of relish, though, the idea of going out being right. Yes, Jim, I really do always have to be right.)

But, there's hope!

If I die tomorrow, 7 ways I'd live on:

The trees are already planted. I often hear of folks honoring a  deceased loved one by planting a tree in memoriam. I planted seven little trees this past summer, courtesy 10 from The Arbor Day Foundation (yeah, three died). As long as someone waters them, the little guys should live on — in memory of me.

The ripples continue. I've spent my life making ripples. With my family, my friends, my readers, sometimes even strangers. I have faith the ripples will continue. That I will continue. 

Verklempt. That word, when heard by my daughters and husband, will remind them of me. For that's what I am far too often, much to their chagrin. If I die tomorrow, though, I think the word will make them chuckle and think of me going forward.

Piles o' pictures. I have a gazillion photos. More than a few feature me, more than enough for dividing between my family members. If they know the password to my computer so they can get the digital ones. (Okay... just kiddin' guys. There's no password; have at it!)

Pieces of me. Like it or not, my daughters possess pieces of me. In their appearance, their hearts, their character. For a couple, it's the eyes. Or the smile. Or the love of mashed potatoes, movies, salt, sad songs, snow cream, pansies, autumn, birds — in the sky, not the home — books, funky socks and cozy jammies. Those pieces of me will live on. Along with many others. All in my daughters. (Except the salt, girls... really, you should lay off it.)

Birthday cake for Jim. I've made Jim the same birthday cake for, geez, more than 20 years, at least. At his request. He can still have it if I'm gone — as long as our daughters take turns making it for him, according to this recipe right here. (You could also surprise him with his fave cookies now and then, too, girls; the recipe is right here.)

What's on the internet lives forever. We've all heard it: Nothing dies on the internet. Once you post something online — no matter how clever and creative you might be in deleting — it remains. Somehow. Somewhere. Meaning Grandma's Briefs will live on.

And so will I.

*Quick fix for this one: I've been pretty regular in posting during the past five years. If I suddenly miss a Monday-Thursday or Saturday, you can pretty much figure I'm gone.

Today's question:

When did you last tell a loved one, "I love you?"