I don't have a life list. I don't even make New Year's resolutions. There are plenty of things I hope to do someday but I feel like if I permanently put them out there then it's pressure and forced and planned and then I will probably dread doing them. I want to be able to buy real art someday, and go to Paris again (and again) and create a spectacular knitting pattern and a million other things but I want those things to surprise me, to sneak up on me, to move easy along the way. Not something I will strike a line through and then on to the next item. Me and my John Lennon ways.
The only thing that would be on my life list is... to not die. It happened upon me suddenly, to find out that I am afraid of dying. Not for what's ahead, but for who I leave behind.
It was Christmas break when I read Jane Eyre for the first time. I didn't leave the living room couch until I finished, yet transported almost out of body, definitely somewhere else. I even remember the cassette tape that was playing over and over- a collection of classical music from Victoria's Secret, I think it was $1 with the purchase of Rose Garden lotion, or maybe it was Strawberries & Champagne. I cried at the end of that book, and would every time I re-read it through the years.
Last year on Christmas Eve I sat in the ER with Carter's severe allergic reaction to a nut in a cookie, and there in triage also discovered he had lice. I could not get the vision out of my head- of their photo with Santa that morning, Carter's head leaned against Santa's. Did we give Santa lice? I've never done so many loads of laundry and I was never so tired in all my life. I honestly didn't think I was going to make it, but I did. Here I am. It's been a year and I still check their heads obsessively. I don't know if I'll ever fully recover.
I've drank and was too busy to taste, I've traveled through time with no recollection of where I've been, I've tripped and tangled, but my regrets are few compared to all the good that I have seen and savored and remembered with fondness.