Monday, June 20, 2011

Etched memories.

There are certain moments in all our lives that are etched in our memories forever. If we choose to go back to those moments, they are crystal clear. If you close your eyes, you can smell the moment. Hear the moment. And see the moment.

I had a moment like that this weekend. It was completely unexpected so that bumps it up on the “life-changing” meter by quite a bit.

You see, Rambo used to be an over the road semi driver. He drove for a man I’ll call Mark. Mark is about 5 years older than us. He’s quite a man. Intelligent, goal-oriented, smart…and beyond owning his own semi business – he owns and operates a farm. He and Rambo became quick best friends while driving day after day together.

I got to be friends with Mark too, of course. We were like brother and sister most of the time. Mark ended up finding a girlfriend I’ll call Sally. Sally was quite a bit younger but we all got along well. There were some things about her that bothered Rambo and I but we trusted Mark. Eventually they got engaged. She moved in with Mark. Rambo and I were to be the best man and matron of honor. She considered me one of her best friends.

And one month before the wedding I helped Mark do something to Sally – another woman – that I never, ever want to have to do again. It’s another moment in my life that is etched into my heart. It was torture – for everyone involved.

Mark was everything to Sally. Too much in my opinion…meaning I think she saw Mark as dollar signs and her ticket to everything she ever wanted. That was dangerous for Mark. He had a family farm that had been in his bloodline for generations and he couldn’t risk having a wife that some day may only see it as money.

Sally left one weekend to go 3 hours north to visit her mom. That same night Rambo and I went to see Mark at his home. Within 2 hours we had packed up everything Sally owned – and everything for the wedding which was one month away – and put it in the back of Mark’s truck.

Three hours later – we broke her heart.

We arrived at her house at 2am. We called when we were 5 minutes out and we told her to wake up. Mark and I went in while Rambo unloaded everything she owned downstairs in her garage. I held Mark’s hand as he stood and told her he couldn’t marry her. That she had to know it had been coming. And he asked for the ring back while she sobbed.

I stood and never said a word. I just held his hand while he shook. I wanted to run to her as a woman but I also knew all her transgressions and I knew this was right for both of them. We knew she would be with her mother so she wouldn’t be alone.

The crazy thing was her mother’s apartment was filled with boxes. Moving boxes. Sally had planned to move her mother into their home the day after the wedding – without telling Mark. Those boxes sealed her fate and ultimately reassured Mark he was right about her.

I never saw her again. I never spoke to her again. I wondered about her well-being all the time.

Today, years later – we found each other on Facebook and she is happily married with children. And she agrees it was the best thing to have happened.

Mark himself is now married to a woman we love. They have two beautiful little girls. They live about 40 minutes away from Rambo and I and though they stopped driving truck together nearly 10 years ago – we remain the best of friends and get together often. We happened to do that this weekend.

Enter another etched in my heart memory.

The four of us have a lot in common – family craziness, jobs, siblings, work ethics and parenting styles. We talk often about big issues – life, death, money, sex.

Before supper, Mark’s wife said to Rambo and I that they needed to ask us something very important.

I saw tears in her eyes before the words even came and she asked, “If something happened to Mark and I, would you please take our girls and raise them?”

She barely got the words out before the tears spilled over.

Rambo and I both said, “Absolutely” – without a moment’s hesitation.


I have parents that sometimes make it very clear that they think I’m a bad parent or that I do a lot of things wrong raising my girls – so for two people I greatly respect as parents to ask us to raise their precious girls if something happened to them was quite a validation – that someone somewhere thinks we’re doing the best we can.

I’ll never forget that moment.

In the same sense, right after that I remembered that Rambo had a question for Mark. Rambo decided if he were ever on life support – he’d like Mark to pull the plug. It was who he trusted to do that for him if I couldn’t. Mark said, “I won’t want to – but I’ll do it.”

And the night went on. Just like we hadn’t just talked about dying and leaving our kids and this world. Because I suppose you can’t dwell on that, right? You have to live but be prepared. It’s the right thing to do for your kids.

My parents have no will and it drives me crazy that not only will I have to grieve for them but there will be fights over their assets. You better believe that after what happened with Mark and his wife this weekend – that I’ll be talking to my mom again about putting stuff down in writing.

If that’s all you take from this blog post – then good. It sucks, it’s hard, it makes you cry and makes you unable to get the words out sometimes but man…it’s so worth it in the end. Make a will. If you can’t do it for yourself – do it for everyone else you love that you’ll leave behind.

Figure it out, decide what you want when you leave this world – and then move on – and keep on living.


I guarantee you that making your will and deciding the difficult things - will ultimately turn into someone else's etched memory.


Jacquie said...

Beautiful post and oh so true about Wills!

Jody V said...

Great post with an even greater point. Making a will certainly does make everything easier when that fateful day comes by.

Banded Mommy (Angie) said...

I have to totally agree. Making a will is the most important thing that you can ever plan for. Many people say that they just can't put any of that into thought but think about it... if something terrible happened to you, wouldn't you want the last say into what happens to you. How could you take the risk of not knowing where your children would go. What if you didn't have family then they would go into foster care. When my step dad passed almost three years ago he did not have a will and my mom has been going through hell ever since and still today trying to get all of his finical issues resolved. She had to move out of their home because the house was in just his name. There are so many things that people do not realize happens after you are gone. Why would you want to burden your loved ones with that while they are already suffering loosing you. I have to agree with all my heart... MAKE A WILL. Share your wishes with they people that you know will be there is something happened to you.
Great post!!

Kelly said...

When I buy my place, I'm totally putting things in writing. You certainly want to avoid unnecessary fighting later on as much as possible.

Joanna said...

Wow, I have goosebumps after reading that.

Making a will is something I've thought about many times - same for my parents. They have told me what they want, I have told others what I want... but telling isn't enough.

Thanks for this.

Ronnie said...

Very moving post, and completely true... even I have a living will. (No assets to make a normal one, or else I'd have one of those, too!)

FitBy40 said...

Thanks for making me cry today Darz!
Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Butler Ogle said...

Draz, This post hit very close to home. Yesterday on our way home, Dail and I visited some cemeteries to pay our respects to out dad's and my grandparents and we got to talking about our final wishes. We are both aware that nothing is in writing and that we need to do something about that soon. We need to make arrangements for Nick is something should happen to both of us. The family knows what we want but we don't have it down on paper. Thanks for the reminder. This post is very moving.

bbubblyb said...

What an emotional post, it hit close to me too. I don't have anything in writing either and need to do that for sure. Thanks for reminding me.

Bridget said...

WOW! Thanks for this very important reminder.

Cat said...

What an emotion filled post this morning. I completely agree on wills. Hubby and I don't currently have one, but we don't have kids either. But we still need to make sense of what happens with our assets and what will happen to our pet. It's important and thank you for this reminder. I'll get this started this week.

~Sandi @ This one time at 'band' camp... said...

Thanks for the story and the reminder...I should have a will as well, my husband being in the military has always had one...thanks Draz!

Laura Belle said...

I completely agree! Wills are so important. Planning for your children's future/your future/etc. is so important!

Wow about 'Mark' and his first relationship. just wow. Everything happens for a reason.

Rachellabelle - My Hips Don't Lie said...

Sage advice. :)

Sandy Lee said...

I'm back. Just to let you know I've been reading so had to leave a message to let you know you aren't forgotten.

We have a will. When my kids were little we told them if something happened to us they would have to go live with their favourite aunt and uncle. A few months later one of them asked when they were going to live with the aunt and uncle. They didn't quite realize that we would have to be dead to do so. I think they were a bit disappointed.

Your friends see the true you and made a fantastic decision. Just pray it will never have to be played out.

Ms. M said...

Wow. Such an emotional chain of events - both then & now. Further proof of what an amazing lady you are. :)

My inlaws don't have wills - they don't believe in them - it drives me nuts!

mommykinz said...

Interesting post. I have been meaning to change the guardianship of my children in my will for over a year. My husband insists his sister is the best one to raise our children. I used to agree when my sister was younger without family of her own but now I feel very strongly that she is the best one to raise our children should anything happen. Tomorrow I will rewrite that section of my will and have it witnessed. It may not be what my husband thinks is right but as the stay-at-home parent I believe this to be the best thing for everyone. And he won't be around to argue.

Beth Ann said...

I couldn't agree more!

Laurie said...

Your parents judge your parenting? dislike. Did they NOT see the Rose postings?
We are all about the will, it's the hub's line of work, just goes without saying.

AutumnLeaves said...

Just such beautiful thoughts and emotions here...

MrsFatass said...

Beautiful post.

We, too, have made plans for our children. It's a hard discussion to have, but totally worth the peace of mind that comes after the decisions are made.

Love you Draz.

diane said...

Also, a family whose parents pass on without a will, will have 50% less to fight over. The state takes half of the assets if there is no will!