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?

* * * Please connect! I love comments! * * *


U. Ville said...

Yeah, thanks for the reminder; I have to do that, too. It does bring back some pangs, though.
Which Internet "last will and testament" site did you use?

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Hey U,
It was easy, but not, obviously, for the first three years.
I dug it up -- looks like I used the free stuff that came with my Quicken update. It was easy -- at least I understand (after being involved in four estates with almost no money) that wills should be REAL simple!

annie said...

Only just? I had one written up along with POA's, and Living Wills when the first husband was diagnosed. Had him do POA and LW, even though he was on the bleeding edge of dementia and I wasn't sure we were standing in firm legal territory (his lawyer said "Let's just do it and worry about challenges if they come up").

When I remarried, we had new wills, POA's and LW's done within the first few months. No chance taking. Life insured to the hilt. Our recent health scare has prompted us to reorganize the filing system too - so that all this legal/financial paperwork and numbers to call are in one place. It occurred to me at one point as I waited that I had no idea where anything was and the office was still in boxes here and there b/c of our recent renovating. The last thing I would want to be doing was going on a paperhunt (yeah, terrible thoughts but I am too practical for my astrological sign sometimes).

Morbid? Perhaps to some. There are things we can't prevent - like dying someday - and the pain/grieving will be the same as before, but we can at least make some of the work load lighter b/c life still goes on, whether we are able to be interested or not.

I know all the reasons why people put these things off, but I don't know how you could leave your spouse or kids in the lurch if something were to happen.

Glad you got it done.

Lynn said...

Never married, no kids, but the deaths of a few friends in 2007 sent me to an attorney's office to write my will. So nice to check that box - I wish more people thought to do so.

Split-Second Single Father said...

Was going to comment anyway tonight to say "thanks" for signing up on my FB page. My "likes" doubled after that, so I have no doubt your readers followed your lead.

A note about the will though. My wife and I had done precisely what you described, but I was told it was invalid since it was not notarized. I hope that your witness was also a notary and signed everything accordingly. Since mine wasn't, I had to open an estate and wade through all of that mess (sounds like you have experience with that as well). Since my wife was buried in another state, I ended up having a legal will drawn up a few days after her death. I signed it before leaving the state to attend her second wake and burial.

Star said...

I love your sense of humor!!

I'm doing my will now too. I do feel almost bulletproof. I mean, I went through that, what else am I going to be hit with? I've had my life's bad things already...


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