In as many weeks, I have heard of three young, healthy women, all with young children, just dropping dead. The first, a few weeks ago, a friend mentioned that her ex-husband’s new wife (early 30’s, slim and otherwise healthy), was found dead in her home, flanked by her two young sons, after phoning her sister to say she was feeling a little unwell. They still do not know what happened to her. Case two, on Monday morning, a good friend of mine called to tell me that the Gynae, Charlene, whom we both see had a massive heart attack on Sunday, without any prior warning, and literally dropped dead. I was shocked and saddened, not only because of the personal relationship that I had with her, but because she was young (mid 40’s) and seemingly healthy, and also the mother of two young boys. After mentioning this story to my dentist later on Monday, she told me that her sister-in-law died the week before, healthy the one day, dead the next. She also left behind a young child. She was not even forty.
To say that these three separate incidents have sent a creepy shiver up my spine, would be putting it mildly. It scares the crap out of me. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that these women’s young children must be going through right now. One of the greatest fears I have as a parent, is that I won’t be there for my babies. Or worse still, that they will grow up with no mother. Losing a parent at any age is hard, but losing your mom or dad when you are just a little thing, must be the most devastating experience ever.
Hearing about these three women, whose lives were snubbed prematurely, has made me stop and think about how flippant we all tend to be about our health. How seemingly insignificant niggles are often ignored, and sometimes even the big things are not checked. We are all so busy getting on with our daily lives that we forget to look after ourselves. Especially moms who are typically more concerned with worrying about their children, than looking after themselves. (After hearing about Charlene, I immediately phoned Gary to urge him to get a mole, that has started looking a little dodgy of late, checked.) It is so important to look after ourselves, both physically and mentally. Stress is a silent killer.
Life is so short, and sometimes we forget to slow down and take in the scenery, to stop and smell the proverbial roses. I, for one, am very guilty of that. So tonight, I’m going to read my babies that extra story even if it is past bedtime already. I am going to hold them and tell them that I love them more than anything, and I hope that they will always know this, no matter what. I am going to tell my husband how much I love him, and how much he brightens my world. And I will always hope and have faith that we will grow old together and be there for our babies as they grow up.