But I'm not sure why they think this.
When I was a six years old, I had a stomach ache that I complained about and everyone told me to "BE QUIET." (At least that's what I remember).
It was only when I threw up in the swimming pool and my mother put me in to her bed (the only room in the house with an air conditioner) for a nap with my sister Beth - who had just had her wisdom teeth removed - and Beth rolled over and put her arm across my stomach and I started screaming - that someone looked at me.
It turns out my appendix had ruptured.
And turned gangrenous.
I had to have an emergency appendectomy and was in the hospital for weeks. I don't think anyone came to visit me. Except my Aunt Carolyn. She brought me a toy Evil Knievel that I raced up and down the halls on the Children's Floor, from my reclining wheel chair.
I still have the scar. It's an awful thing.
When I was 10 I had to have my tonsils and adenoids removed. Because my mother was working as a nurse and wouldn't be off work for a few hours - my Aunt Grace came with me to the hospital. I remember coming out of the anesthesia in the recovery room and feeling terrible. I really thought I was going to die and asked for my mother and a priest.
My recovery nurse grabbed my Aunt Grace, who looks very much like my mom - and said "Here's your mom, honey. Here she is."
That only made it worse because not only did I think I was going to die, I wondered if I was so bad off that I couldn't recognize my own mother?
No one ever listened to me about my ailments. They still don't.
At the moment, Charlie is blowing off my ingrown toenails like it is no big deal ... but I'm soaking them in hydrogen peroxide and rubbing Neosporin all over them twice a day, because I wouldn't be at all surprised if I got sepsis.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that if I was looking straight ahead and diverted my eyes to the left or right, it hurt. So, I kept doing it to see if it went away. When the pain didn't go away and only intensified, I started to worry that there was something seriously wrong.
Like, a tumor.
I told Charlie about my concerns and like always, he blew it off. "Jen, I doubt you have a tumor. Maybe your eye just hurts because you're looking after kids all day long and don't get enough sleep. Have you thought of that?"
No, I didn't think of that. But I highly doubted that looking after kids would make my eyes feel like they were going to fall right out of my head.
A tumor made much more sense.
So instead of going to bed and getting sleep, I stayed up late in to the night worrying that I was on my way out. It made me terribly sad thinking about our little children growing up with out a mother. So sad that I decided I better hurry up and finish my Will. Because if my Google searches yielded any valid information about my eye pain ... there was a very good chance I wasn't going to be here six months from now.
Completing a Will has been on my "To-Do" list ever since the triplets were born. But I'd been putting it off for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, I felt like once I got it finished, there would be nothing stopping a meteorite from falling out of the sky and hitting me. Or, an aneurysm from rupturing. It makes perfectly good sense that by not having a Will in place, an invisible force is preventing anything bad from happening.
Second, I didn't have the time. Or rather, any time that I did have - was quickly taken up by things I'd prefer to do. Like - washing the windows inside and out. Or, flossing my teeth.
Third, I didn't want to be sad. I can't think of anything more depressing than making my own final arrangements.
Fourth, All of the information I'd seen about pulling together a Will seemed terribly expensive. One of my friends who had recently had hers finished said that the attorney they hired cost $2,500.00.
So, in a nutshell ... I'd be spending a lot of money on something that would take me a lot of time to complete that I didn't want to do, I'd be crying, and once it was finished - I'd either be crushed under a 4.6-billion year old rock that flew out of orbit from some far away asteroid belt, or drop dead instantly from an aneurysm.
But something about my eye pain made me realize that if something were to happen to me before I had a Will in place - especially if Charlie was to be consumed by a pool shark - there was no information regarding what should happen to our children.
Ultimately, they were my motivation to get something in place.
Researching the internet, I found a website (http://legacywriter.com) that allowed me to complete my entire "Estate Plan" for the bargain basement price of $34.95. Included in my Estate Plan is:
- Last Will and Testament (this covers the disposition of my remains and any final wishes, it also appoints guardianship for our children, and defines an executor of my estate and family trust);
- Advanced Health Care / Living Will (this outlines what I want to have happen if I'm in a vegetative state);
- Durable Power of Attorney for Finance (this assigns a person(s) to handle all of my finances);
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (this assigns a person to implement my Advanced Health Care Directive and Living Will).
Now, provided I don't die first, I might decide that it is worth the $2,500.00 to have an Estate Plan professionally prepared by an attorney. But until such time that I find an extra $2,500.00 laying around ... at least I have something in place, now. Because although my eye healed and my doctor also thought that the pain was due to a strained muscle ... what's to say my ingrown toenails don't take me out?
It took me a long time to decide how I want my remains handled. Several years ago, I was convinced I would be cremated. But after Charlie and I were sitting on our patio under neath the space heater last winter and watched a moth get burned alive, we both decided that maybe burial was the better way to go.
Then I couldn't decide where I'd be buried. My father has purchased several plots at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts - and he invited Charlie and I to come rest with him, eternally. But during a recent conversation, Charlie informed me that Sleepy Hollow is too dark and spooky. He'd much prefer to be someplace bright and sunny.
Me too. But then again, I'd much prefer to be ABOVE the ground then BELOW it.
When I was completing my Will, I decided again that I'd be cremated. Because ultimately, I think cremation is more environmentally sound than sticking a casket in a concrete enclosure in the earth. Besides, if I were to die tomorrow, it would be a huge hassle to have my body hauled off to some Funeral Home - fitted for a casket - and then, transported to my final resting spot.
That's a lot that has to happen over a very short period of time as opposed to having my body cremated and ashes returned. No big rush.
Some other things I've specified in my Will include the distribution of my ashes over Jenny Lake in Wyoming, right at the foot of the Grand Tetons.
Because I like options, I indicated that if it's more convenient, I'd be happy sprinkled off Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara. But only during an off-shore breeze.
I also indicated that I'd like a donation made to the San Diego Zoological Society and I want my name on a bench somewhere in the zoo. Preferably not near the flamingos, they are too stinky.
I want bagpipes to play "Amazing Grace" and because I think it is important for people to have a peaceful spot to go and reflect on the one that has passed, I want a headstone at the Santa Barbara cemetery, which is situated on a cliff overlooking the Pacific. This is hands-down one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited and happens to be where Charlie's mom is buried.
Last but not least, I want my headstone to read "See, I told you I was sick."
Because if my ingrown toenails don't kill me, I have a rash on my neck that looks suspicious.