Worst Case Scenario


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.



4 thoughts on “Worst Case Scenario

  1. I’m with you. While I don’t yet have kids of my own, my worst fear is losing one/both of my nieces. I have to keep reminding myself that God’s in control, He gives and takes away, and He is no less good even if He chooses to take them away. But it’s still hard.


  2. annabelmcquade

    I don’t have kids either, but I think I realized very abruptly one day just how much I value the family I do have: it was when a distant relative phoned my mother to tell her that her uncle (who I didn’t know) was in hospital. Now, as far as I knew at the time, there was nothing wrong with my more elderly relatives, so when I heard my mother sobbing, my first guess was there was something wrong with one of my brothers. And… suddenly, I’d never been so scared in my life.
    So yeah. I guess maybe that would be my worst-case scenario too.


  3. Last year, I was traveling to see Deana at one of her dance recitals. Right after I got onto the Interstate, a car going the opposite direction crossed into the median several yards ahead of me, hit the median barrier, which then detached and hit a couple of vehicles in front of me. One of the vehicles span out of control like a pinwheel several times (though not airborne) and stopped in the green space past the shoulder. This entire event happened only about 50 yards in front of me within about 5-10 seconds. Amazingly, more vehicles were not hit (there were about a half dozen other cars in front of me) and no one was ejected from the affected vehicles. Fortunately, no one was killed, though I’m sure some of the drivers/passengers were a little banged up.

    This event shook my nerves up. All I could think of was “what if?” What if I had arrived in that area a few seconds earlier? What if I had passed up the cars in front of me on the Interstate ramp? What if the cars had crashed at different angles causing a more disastrous accident? All I can say to all those questions is, plainly, it wasn’t my time.

    Ever since my heart attack in 2012, I’ve tried to mentally prepare for the unexpected. All we can do is be as vigilant as possible and play the cards we’re dealt. I work with police officers everyday who have to prepare for such as well. The best we can all do is think ahead and hope for the best. If I had children, I would do my best to prepare them accordingly as well. This way, we can all sleep at night knowing we did the best we could.


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