Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Whenever I have to travel and Rowan doesn't come with me, she goes to stay with grandma. Such was the case for the trip I'm currently on. The night before I left, Donna came by and picked her up. It was a bit of an "off" good-bye for us, as both Rowan and I weren't feeling well. But as she walked across the porch she looked back through the front window and smiled. I blew her a kiss, which she caught on her cheek. Then she blew one back, which I caught on mine. It's one of our little rituals.

Fast forward to the next day. At one point during my flight, we hit some fairly serious turbulence. As a general rule, turbulence does not bother me. I understand the difference between being jostled around by unstable air, and an aircraft being in trouble (although I've thankfully never experienced the latter). But some things are just different now, since Aimee's death. And simple things like turbulence aren't as simple to me anymore.

As the plane bumped around, my mind wandered into decidedly unhelpful territory. What if one of these times it wasn't turbulence, but a real emergency? What if I died in a plane crash? I just kept remembering that last exchange with Rowan through my front window, seeing it over and over again. Would she remember that exchange if I died today? Like I remember waving good-bye to Aimee as she left for her scuba trip?

This wasn't the first time I've had these kinds of thoughts since Aimee's death. I've gotten more - for lack of a better word - paranoid about my safety. Not for my sake, but for Rowan's.

It's unsettling.

If we think about it, we all know just how fragile human life really is. That fact punched me in the face on December 18, 2011. But it's not just Aimee's death. We see it all the time in the news (such as the bombings in Boston this week), stories of people dying in accidents, or storms, or any number of causes. Aimee's accident just brought it home to me in a very personal way. And increasingly over the past 16 months, I've become more wary about my own odds for surviving through Rowan's childhood.

Make no mistake, that is now my number one goal in life - seeing Rowan to adulthood. Seeing her get married and have children would be a nice bonus.

I don't know if this is normal for people who've lost someone suddenly, to have this heightened sense of your own mortality. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of feeling like this.

1 comment:

  1. Wow.... Pat you know Rowan will always remember every exchange between you and her, just like she does with Aimee. I understand your concern for your safety for the sake of Rowan. I to had an experience similar to that after my mom passed away. It took 2 1/2 yrs to realize it, but it happened for me. You will no doubt have experiences like that for some time. Just remember Aimee is watching over you, and protecting you.