Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Best Case Scenario for the Worst Case Scenario



I've mentioned (exactly once, because it's quite obviously extremely embarrassing) how I, in a terribly anxiety ridden season of my life, asked Ellis maybe a half dozen times if Peyton were to tragically die couldn't we just get married and live in a completely celibate marriage for the rest of our days. Obviously, this was before Peyton and I got married and before El even met Minda. But still it was an insane and inappropriate proposition.

For awhile, there had been another question in the back of my mind I really wanted to ask. But I was afraid that it was, similarly, a position that was frankly unfair to put him in. Not equally inappropriate, but an equally burdensome cross to bear.

When we asked El to be Annie's godfather, we all saw it as a role that would be filled in the context of (hopefully) a spiritual mentor and an adult friend. Someone she could look up to, someone she would have a special unique relationship with, and someone that hopefully she could go to with hard things. Additionally, he would be someone who would take (and has taken) a special sort of interest in her life.

What we did not mean was that he (and later Minda) would be hers (and later Graves's) guardians were something tragic to happen to us.

El and I had just had a conversation about how he's just not at a place in life where he's ready for children. It was, honestly, quite awesome to find out that he had made peace with the idea of eventual children. Marriage? Someday kids? This keeps getting better and better. I was happy for him that he wanted children to have a place in his future and assured him that he'd be a wonderful father and that (along with the writing of his first novel) watching that unfold would be one of the great joys of my life, as his wedding was.

But then a few weeks ago, through a series of texts where I was discussing our will and plans in case something happened to both of us, he just offered.

He offered to take them if something tragic happened and Peyton and I were both gone.

And just like that, I didn't have to ask (which is good, because I'm not sure I ever would have).

I know that if a tragedy were to occur and something happened and I were without Peyton, I'm at a place now where I don't need a "back up husband". [Which is a damn good thing. Because that would be a pretty unhealthy thing to have.] But I do need a back up family for my children. We have several dear, dear friends that I know would do an amazing job raising them.

But this guy? This guy that is (aside from Peyton of course) closer to me than anyone not blood. That's who I want them with.

And his wife? His beautiful, kind, maternal, servant-hearted wife. That's who I want them with.

This couple? This couple who shares so many of our values. Who tell me all the time how much they admire my mothering. Who push me to be better than I am and who remind me of Grace when I fail these little souls. That's who I want them with.

These people who I know cherish them. Who want the best for them always, even if that were to come at great cost to their own lives and dreams. Who I know would walk sorrowfully and speak tenderly through the greatest grief our children would probably ever know.

That's who I want them with.

And thankfully, were anything (God forbid) to happen to us, that's exactly where they will be.

1 comment:

Mary Louis Quinn said...

Writing our will was probably one of the most stressful and emotional (and expensive- yikes!!) things we have done. It raises some hard questions and I felt certain we would die in a car wreck on the way home from the lawyer's office. Not even kidding. :)
We have like 4 back-ups for our children's guardians. We tried to come up with every "worst case scenario" we could.