In it for the Long Haul

3_9_10.jpgFor the longest time the question that haunted me was: "why him, why not me?" - for a while, the question was more often "why not take me too?". Michele and I used to talk about the big black ship that would come pick us up and carry us away to wherever Phil and Daniel were. I told myself I'd jump on that boat and race away without a second glance.

I knew, even then, that it wasn't true. I wouldn't jump on the boat and ride away to see my man. As much as I wanted to see him (and still do, every day), I had one big reason to stay here and see it through - Grayson. In the early months, Grayson was the only thing that kept me from throwing myself on the funeral pyre (or off the nearest bridge). I knew Daniel would never forgive me if I didn't take care of our little man. Daniel was counting on me to be strong for Grayson and carry on. I needed that guilty knowledge to keep me focused on survival.

It's funny, but for a while after Daniel died, I was fearless. I dared God to take me. I was defiant and bullet proof. I mean, really...what were the chances that I'd die too? And, did I really care? Most days, not so much. Four years later, my greatest fear is dying. But, not for the reasons you might think. I don't fear death. I'm ready for it when it is my time. What I do fear is leaving Grayson without a parent. I pray almost daily that I get to live until I'm really, unnaturally old so that he doesn't have to lose both of his parents when he's still young. I want to watch him grow up and live a long and happy life.

I know I can't protect him from all pain, and I wouldn't want to - life is the whole package, the good and the bad. I'd prefer it though, if the most painful thing he ever has to experience has already happened and it's all downhill from there. A girl can dream, right? In the meantime, I'm grateful to be here, watching the little guy grow up too quickly.

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