Every once in a while, I take the trip to my alma mater alone for a home basketball game. I love Purdue, I love Mackey Arena, and even though my seats aren't as good as my boss's (can you say courtside?), I love the view I have when watching a game. It is totally worth the trip. Especially if I get to hang out with one of my nephews in the process, like I was able to the other night.
The part that sucks about going down for the game is the drive home.
Sure, it is easy. Straight up the interstate for about an hour. Just count the miles between the exit numbers, wave good-bye to the windmills and hello to desolate, open farm fields. (Am I the only one in the world who knows exits on the interstate by their number? I mean, my parent's exit is 175, my friends is 178, mine is 249. There is 74 miles between my exit and my parents, and 2 miles between my exit and the first one I come to after I get on, then 7 miles until the next one. Doesn't everyone do this??)
After the red blinking lights at the top of the windmills faded in the distance, I noticed how windy it was. It had been windy on my way down, but I was way too focused on what time I would get there and where I would park to worry about much else. Oh, and keeping the car on the road.
But on the way home, the adrenaline from the win was wearing off, and as I occasionally cross the white line between me and the median I wondered what would happen if something happened to me. And, as always, my mind drifted to what would happen if I got home and something had happened to Workaholic or the girls.
The mind, it is a weird place. I rarely obsess or worry about if I died, how would my family continue without me. Or how would Sam and Charlie turn out as adults. Maybe it is because of that weird thing where I think nothing bad happens to me. Or maybe I just assume that they would be OK. That they would be fine without me, as long as they had each other.
What I do "obsess" over is if something happens to someone I love. If Workaholic dies in a car crash on his way to work, how would I react? Would I sell the house? Of course I would...I can't afford it on my own. But how would I get it in shape to sell? Would I stay in the town where I live or would I move back to my hometown? Would I find someplace to bury him in a plain pine coffin like he wants? Hopefully. How long would it take for the realization that he isn't coming back to hit me? Would I be able to work? How much time would work give me to grieve?
I am all about the stupid, minute details.
In a terribly shocking way, my mind drifts to how I would react if something happened to one of my girls. Which one would it be? Would I react differently? Would I be that mom on TV shows that drops to the floor sobbing? Would I just stand there? Would I talk at her funeral? I start to think of what I would say...and then I force myself to stop. Stop thinking like that. WHO THINKS LIKE THAT? And then I start thinking again...
Would I react differently if it was Sam or Charlie? Would I quit my job? How would I get through it? What would go through my mind? And immediately I know...regret.
Regret that I didn't spend enough time with them. Regret that I didn't teach them as much as their little sponge brains could absorb. Regret that I yelled too much or didn't read Charlie enough books. Regret that we would never get to have breakfast with the princesses at Disney World. Or teach them how to ski, or surf, or hit a softball.
I shake my head and turn up the radio.
Taylor Swift pulls me out of my funk, and before I know it, I am singing "Dear John" and "Mean" as I exit at mile 249.
I forget about the thoughts until I have another quiet moment, but then I don't let them take over.
Am I the only one who does this?
Who else thinks of the stupid details if one of her loved ones dies?
As I write this, Charlie's hour long temper tantrum ended and I put her to bed, with less than one book. It was all she would allow. Sam is watching videos of someone singing the alphabet on You Tube.
I'll just try not to think again for the rest of the night.