A couple weeks ago there was a cancer scare in the family. My mom has a lump that was fairly quickly determined to be a benign mass, but I'll tell you what, I was scared shitless. This post is less about the lump or the scare, and more about the realization of mortality. My family is close. It's just the four of us -- mom, dad, sister and I. I've always considered myself lucky to have that. Still do. While I can be wildly independent, and have, for the most part, taken care of myself as a grownup (with a few nudges and pokes here and there), I sometimes very much consider myself my parents' child. At 30 years old. I need them. While not necessarily for things like money or food or life, but for me. I need to know they're there. I need to know that in the darkest of dark of times, nothing bad will come of me, because I have my parents. They will save me. Always. I believed that as a little girl, and I believe that now.
When, for the briefest of moments, I thought my mom might have cancer, my entire reality spun around. For the briefest of moments I had to imagine what that would mean. And in that briefest of moments I forgot how to exist.
For as long as I can remember, I've considered myself like a balloon. My family is who holds tightly to the string, keeping me from floating away. If something happens to them, it's like letting go of the balloon. I float away with no direction, no rescue and no foundation. I am attached to my parents, literally and figuratively.
I had this conversation with one of my best friends last weekend. She had a similar scare with her own mom. We were scared we were too attached to and too dependent on our moms. And dads. And families, in general. So much so that life without them seems not only unimaginable, but unlivable.
Is it because I don't yet have a family of my own to focus my attachments? Am I too attached? Or is this simply the aftermath of growing up loved and protected and happy?
I don't want to change it, and I won't. And I don't want to have to revisit the thought. Not any time soon. In the end, I feel blessed to have the relationship I have with my family. Like they say, if you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.
When it comes to family, I have everything. I'd really rather not lose it.