This isn’t meant to be a morbid post… but I guess it could be construed as such.

We got a phone call today from my in-laws, letting us know that my husband, Scott’s, grandpa isn’t doing well. He’s had cancer and has been going down hill, but when we saw him last month for Father’s day, he actually had a really good day.

But today, they don’t expect him to make it more over 24 hours. He’s in a lot of pain, and your prayers are appreciated.

So tonight, we were sitting around the table and the girls were asking questions about death. We went through this a few months ago with when my Grandma went to be with Jesus. I mentioned to them that NONE of us are promised tomorrow, that is why it’s important that we live for Jesus today and serve him. My eldest daughter, miss smarty pants she is, furrowed her brow to think about this. Then she asked, “Mommy, what happens if you and daddy both die together?”

Knife through this Momma’s heart. I wanted so badly to say, “IT WON’T HAPPEN! Jesus will protect me…” and I KNOW he will, but we aren’t promised another day. The reality is, there are kids in this world that have their parents taken away from them very prematurely. Jesus knows why. I don’t pretend to.

I explained, as best I could, that no matter WHAT happens, that Jesus is still God, is still in control, and still loves us. I told her that Mommy and Daddy would make sure that they were taken care of even if we weren’t here, and that Jesus would always be with them.

Then… and here comes my writing analogy… the conversation took a turn that I didn’t expect.

My children started planning my death.


Between my eight and five-year-old, they started musing about “what if Jesus takes Mommy and Daddy by…”

Given that in order for them to be “alone” we’d have to die together, their chosen method was car accident. Not sure I EVER want to be in a car alone with my husband again… just saying! Lacy asked what would happen if they were all by themselves and we weren’t there… then she decided that it would work out better if they were in a SEPARATE car (not with us, mind you) riding with Aunt Jami, then they could just stay with their Aunt, so they wouldn’t have to worry about being by themselves and having to call anyone.

My husband and I just sat there, mouths gaping, completely floored that they were talking about this so matter-of-factly.

Now, I don’t think my kids want me to die. And I think if it actually happened they would be beside themselves with grief. BUT, I think they are doing what I have done all my life.

They’ve inherited my “what-if” gene. It’s that gene that helps me write fictional stories. I can close my eyes, take one germ of an idea, and douse it with “but what if this happened…”‘s. As a child I would lay in my bed and imagine, at the time, the most horrible things. Robbers breaking in, usually. I’d come up with the most elaborate plans for their entry too. Of course, I also thought up of ways I’d meet my future husband, and how he’d hold my hand, then take me into his arms and kiss me… ahhhh…. Those were the fun dreams.

And all those dreams and “what-if”‘s have now made for GREAT fodder for my writing.

Still not loving the death sequence my daughters laid out though…

Discussion: Please, let’s not brainstorm ways for me to die. I have enough problems as it is already! But, curious if anyone else has this crazy “what-if” gene. Does it come in useful for your writing??? Prayers for my poor, conflicted children would be appreciated as well!



  1. Hi Krista,
    I'll be praying for your Grandpa. Even if it's expected, it's never easy.

    Sounds like your kids are just as creative as you! 🙂 I'm not sure if I use the term "what if." But I have noticed a child or two of mine that have very wild imaginations as they play and are busy chatting away to themselves making up creative adventures. And I know I was like that too as a child! So I'm hoping I'll get another writer or two out of my bunch that will follow in my footsteps!

  2. I have it. I have it. What began as empathy morphed into a love of writing and ability to almost identify w/ anyone through the years. I'm still an empathetic soul.

    I am sorry about your husband's grandpa. We are dealing with a roller coaster here w/ my dad's lung cancer. It's jerking my emotions all around to be frank.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Sorry to hear about your grandfather. I'm pretty sure I have the What If gene…however, I'm not so sure I put it to use well enough.

  4. I loved how you answered your children's questions. Very wise. And very funny about them planning your death.

    What If is an excellent game to play to generate story ideas!!

  5. Out of the mouth of babes! Oh mercy. I have an over-active imagination and when it is late a night and any one person in my family is late, my mind goes haywire. I've created whole books in my head from scenarios my mind has imagined up. Craziness, but one such scene did make me think of a book idea…lolol. 🙂

  6. Out of the mouths of babes. My son does this to us every time my husband and I decide to go away for a weekend. We get the "what-if-you-don't-come-back" questions. I think it's his way of dealing with the what-if thoughts he has.

    As for helping with my writing–abolutely. I'm not always content to go with the first thought. Sometimes I play what if and see where it goes.

  7. I should clarify further: it was my husbands grandfather.

    And sadly, he passed away at 4:30 this morning. Hubby and my two eldest kids are going to drive to NC on Friday for the funeral. Please pray for safe travels for them (and me… I'm still planning my trip to IL… my sweet sweet husband insisted I still go)

    Sounds like we have alot of other "what-ifers" in the blogosphere too! Glad my kids and I aren't the only wierdos out there:-)

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