December 3, 2013

A Tough Question....and Doctor Who

One night last week my daughter asked the question Mark and I have been waiting on pins and needles for one of the kids to ask.
What will we do if Daddy dies?
Then I watched "The Angels Take Manhattan" episode of Doctor Who.

And balled my eyes out.

When Camryn asked the question, the four of us were getting settled on the couch to watch Agents of SHEILD, just like we've been doing every Tuesday night this fall. Well, except the previous Tuesday, when Mark was in the hospital being treated for his heart attack.

AJ decided we shouldn't watch it without him.

Fast forward a week and here is this question hanging in the air.

Mark and I were sitting at either end of the couch, with the kids in the middle. Cami was near me, AJ near Mark. The show was paused and the two of us glanced at each other, then I turned to our daughter.

"What exactly do you mean, 'what will we do'?". I wanted to gauge where she was coming from.

The last thing we would say is "don't be silly, that's not gonna happen!", because it might. We're not going to lie to our children. We don't want to scare them needlessly either. We have to tread very carefully here.

At first Cami mentioned money and paying our bills and getting groceries and stuff like that. Mark asked AJ if he ever thinks about him dying. AJ shrugged and said no. Then Mark made a little joke about being reduced to administrative tasks like running errands.

Those logistical things are sometimes all we have any control over, so I could understand why Cami was thinking about them.

But I told her that is the stuff I would take care of, that I would figure out for us. I told her all she should be thinking about is that she would be sad and miss Daddy.

That's when AJ burst into tears, prompting the rest of us to get choked up too. When AJ cries like that, over something SAD, it just kills us.

Mark wrapped his arm around him and then AJ said, "I don't want you to die!"

And little pieces of our hearts broke.

We held it together, though. Mark said he doesn't want to leave us and would try not to let that happen, but that if it does happen, he would still be with us in spirit. Always.

I agreed, telling the kids that I was one hundred percent certain their dad would always be watching over them, just because I know he doesn't want to miss anything. I also told them that we would stick close together and be there for each other, and I would do my very best to help them be OK.

I asked if there was anything more they wanted to talk about right then (although I don't think AJ ever wanted to talk about it), they said no, we had some hugs, and resumed our show. We proceeded to have a typical bedtime.

Mark and I didn't talk about it any further that night either. Maybe because I went to watch some Doctor Who in our bedroom after the kids were in bed because I'm trying to get caught up.

Little did I know the next episode I needed to watch was the most emotional one, like, EVER.

I had purposely made myself NOT cry while having this heavy discussion with the kids. So when The Doctor had to say goodbye to Amy and Rory -- and I was alone in my room -- it all came out.

I knew I was crying over more than just a TV show. That's kind of the beauty of shows and movies that tug at you emotionally. They give you permission to FEEL. To let it out, and hopefully, let it go.

Then, just like the conversation with the kids, I quickly started the next episode of Doctor Who, because I know it goes on without Amy and Rory and I needed to see how.

No comments:

Post a Comment