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Life Reflections

Many people who have been following Nomi's and my personal life know that we're just beginning to approach a major change in our lives, one that makes us both hopeful and nervous at the same time. In my own case, though, it has caused me to spend a lot of time thinking about my parents, who are both gone now.

When my father died years ago, my brothers and I had only taken a handful of steps into adulthood. We were in no way ready or prepared for Dad to pass on, but fortunately we had Mom to help us out. Mom made a lot of personal sacrifices to make sure that the three of us would be able to complete our educations with a minimum of debt, and for the most part she succeeded. (My two half-brothers were already pretty much into their adult lives.) When Dad died, Mom did what she could to shield us, so we could concentrate on our educations.

When Mom died two years ago, however, we no longer had a parent to shield us. Fortunately we had other people in our lives. I was given the task of arranging the funeral details, and it would have been much more difficult without Nomi's help. But at the same time, I knew that I had moved into a different role now, and I had to see to it that things went the way Mom would have wanted. That goes beyond the funeral, of course; I made sure that family photos and archives were kept safe, so that they could be shared with later generations.

Which is part of the reason I've been thinking about my parents recently. After Mom died, I came to an odd realization. Our parents raise us to be adults, of course, and to be able to deal with the world on our own, because that's what parents are supposed to do.

It now seems to me that the ultimate role of a parent is to raise their child to be prepared for the day when the parent is gone, and the child has to face the world on their own. Of course, that isn't always possible, as some parents tragically die too young to ensure that. But in my own case, even though I was rather young when Dad died, I now realize that he was preparing us for his absence, in his own way. And I've come to understand that Mom did the same.

I can only hope that my brothers and I are as equal to the task as our parents were.
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As a single parent, over 50, with diabetes, I've been thinking about this preparing my children to live without me for a while now.

It's quite scary, actually, when there are so many things to consider, and I never know if I'll run out of time.
pebble
I think that one raises a child to "robust", since the only constant in the world is change: not even the rate of change is constant.

Some of the robustness we help them prepare for, is the stuff we can see coming. And some is the rest.

All my parents, and parent-surrogates are gone now. It's a joy to have my new in-laws: they are all a person could want in in-laws, and I love them.

But: I don't need them any more. Mom's been gone 21 years, Dad 9, my older cousin Stan for 5. Ready or not, here I come.
One of the last things my dad told me before he passed away was how scared he was when I was born, because he wasn't sure he'd do a good job as a father.
I know that you two recently moved. If there's other news than that, I'm not aware, so any clues thrown my way would be welcome.

I've always said that we are not raising a child, we are raising an adult.
I was wondering the same thing.
I know that you're not looking for reassurance here but more just contemplating your future, but this seemed like an appropriate place to write: Truly, while I'm obviously not a parent, I have worked with kids since just after I stopped being one myself. I think you guys are both going to be truly incredible parents, and have thought so ever since I met both of you for the first time! While it's never socially acceptable to say so when you're not sure what people's feelings are, I always hoped that you guys would have kids. You have a blend of kindness and conviction that is going to make your children not only strong and capable people, but incredibly good people. While I'm sure as one can be in this world that you guys will live long and be able to see them grow well into your old age, I am even more sure that your kids will be the types who can handle whatever comes their way, including life's harsh realities and losses.

And, of course, your parenting will be reinforced by all those wonderful baby-sitters you will have. *ahem* I know all about keeping the meat and milk spoons apart and everything! And, of course, I will sing them G&S songs as lullabies.

Congrats

At last you'll get to use that naming book I gave you 8 years ago. (Though neither of my kids' names came out of it with their current spelling.)
If I'm correct in guessing what the life change is, I think you'll both do awesome.
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