Ham and Eggs, or, Why I just wrote my will
There’s an old joke, really more of half a joke, that we used to use when referring to having our child. Someone would ask Gavin how the birth had been, and I’d chime in with, “It was lovely, but it was like ham and eggs… the chicken (pointing at Gavin) is involved, but the PIG is COMMITTED.”
(Gotta tell you though, when Stalin said, “You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” he didn’t mean that the chickens would get off [or over] easy, either.)
Labor pains weren’t the half of it, really, when you think about the many years we spent living in the limbo of infertility treatment. Despite my body being directly involved, I was definitely the pig. I took dozens of shots in my pink thighs. I volunteered my breasts till they were raw. I gave it up and delivered. And I ate a LOT.
In the end, it was he who died (though we didn’t get any meat out of it, except perhaps for stories like this one).
So I wonder if I was getting him back by some odd, post-mortem, self-flagellating math when I didn’t take care of my own will for FOUR MORE YEARS. Gavin had received plenty of credit for our baby without doing the work, and damn it if I was going to commit to one more thing. It was his body doing the fighting, and therefore his decisions about treatment and endpoints, but I resisted wherever I could. It’s impossible to pull your own life out of the action, isn’t it?
So it was easy, after he died, to relish my role as the chicken for a little while. I told everyone how important it was to have an advanced health care directive and a will, and to talk about death with your loved ones. But I manifested that unique alchemy or oscillation between bulletproof and broken that a widow often does. As a single Mom, who would I tell my last wishes to, anyway?
I’ve been married a year and a half now and we still haven’t had “the talk.” I really AM chicken.
But I just made up my will. You can tell it’s mine because it has a juice ring on the front page. I had it witnessed at a bruncheon I hosted for local widowed parents about two months or so after preparing it using some cheap internet product. The bona fides might or might not be solid, but my conscience is clear. At least I’ve done one of the jobs I think you all should do.
And I remember that despite the pig’s great commitment, his dying for our breakfast, we do end up eating the chicken, too. It’s just later in the day, for the most part.
Parts is parts, right?
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