This year I have been working with medical professionals on finding out what is causing pain in my back and down my arms. Big surprise, being a bi-ped is a risk and my spine hates me. Didn’t know I had a choice, would’ve been working on my knuckle-dragging a little more.

This morning, in 3 hours, I will be going in for surgery that has very little risk. But I might have to leave.

For those new to my story – My mother was quadriplegic for 20 years. So anything spine-related tends to make me a little twitchy. Combined with my brain’s power to analyze and prepare for ANYTHING, and a wonderful superhero level of self-awareness, a lot has happened.

The biggest realization was what if I didn’t survive this procedure?

This isn’t one of those, “I saw death coming for me and yelled NOT TODAY, THIS IS NOT THAT DAY.” Although I would totally do that given the chance.

This is one of those little speed bumps in our lives that says, “HOLY CARP!” (Yes, I like the auto-corrected version)

  • Did I do the dishes?
  • What about the dryer?
  • Raise my kids to be good people?
  • Floss?
  • What about finishing that room?
  • Should I have thrown out the leftovers?

You can see where this list could just keep going. And yeah, you may think I’m being over-dramatic but really I’m just a doomsday prepper…on a more intimate emotional scale.

So I started thinking of what would I have wanted to say to people, even more importantly what would I say to my family? Did I actually gain any wisdom in these years of mine on this rock? As I browse through my social media and plan for the “just in case” letter, I realize how much time we’re wasting on so many unnecessary things.

This isn’t judgment, simply an observation. There’s a thought process people go through where they are asked to think about it being your 80th birthday and your family and friends show up. They are going to go around the table and share a memory or what you taught them. What would you hope they would say?

So when I’m a little anxious about this procedure, I am awake all night thinking of when I finally do leave this earth, have I left the earth a little better than I found it?

I hope people knew I loved them, even the ones I hadn’t met yet.

I would hope I caused a little mischief that brought smiles to their eyes when they remember.

I hope people saw my compassion for others, and especially for those people whose lives I didn’t understand yet.

I hope I was curious enough.

I hope I loved enough.

I hope so many more things.

So this next part is specifically to my most amazing partners in my life (get to know them from my very first post):

The Teen – now is Mr. Man as he’s engaged and moving into the next steps of his adventure.

I am proud of your journey and the excitement you have for the future. As you grow further into the world, please don’t lose that ability of yours to care deeply for this earth. We need more people like you who are looking out for all of us, even when we aren’t. As a person about to commit to another person, you two will evolve and sometimes you’ll find yourselves on the same page, and sometimes completely different books altogether. Just have patience for yourselves. If you’re going to commit to each other, then don’t half-ass it but be all in. (For both of you – Winning arguments won’t solve the problems we face, intimately in marriage or publicly in the world. Bring others with you)

The Warrior – Not so little anymore but I think I have the greatest hopes for you and not enough words today. Your art, your music, your perspective on the world that is still being focused – are ALL amazing parts of you. Continue to share yourself and while things will have their ups and downs, look for the beautiful moments the world is trying to show you. Just like the importance of notes and rests in music, all of the parts are needed in order to touch our hearts.

Little Miss – Now Turbo – You have demonstrated courage in places and ways most of us only have dreamt of. Hold on to that courage! But not just for the big moments, more importantly hold on to it for the little moments. When you meet a new person, when you decide what you want life to look like, even when deciding if you’ll try weird food. Courage will never let you down, sometimes it will show up later in your story than what you thought you needed.

Spousal Unit – My main partner in this crazy trip. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And for that other time, thank you. You are strong. You are amazing.

So I’m going to go have surgery and everything will be okay. One day, sometime in in the future, I might have to leave.

Love you all