The worst thing that could possibly happen to me today would be the loss of one of my four children. Since the moment my first-born arrived, silent and blue because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, I have been both blessed and cursed by my pure devotion to my kids. I remember once as a brand new mother, sitting on the couch with my husband and watching a movie. All the while I had one ear trained on the baby monitor, straining to hear any sign of distress from upstairs where my tiny daughter slept in her crib. When the movie ended, I turned to my husband and said, “Parenthood is a life sentence without possibility of parole.” Since those early days of parenthood, we have dealt with the garden variety of stresses: ear infections, colic, tantrums, asthma, defiance, and whining. We have dealt with some more serious issues too – ones involving emergency room visits or the police, for example. When the phone rings late at night, my heart flutters and I imagine the unimaginable. The worst dream of my life was one in which I searched our house for my daughter. I called her name, but she was nowhere to be found. Finally I went into the garage and found her, curled up on the floor in the back seat of the car. She was not sleeping. I woke up sobbing, it was so real. Losing a child would bring my whole world crashing down, and I don’t think I could ever recover. I can’t even bring myself to write the D word in this post. So I pray and sometimes hold my breath. And life goes on.