What Happens to the Kids?

“Did you hear the news?”, my neighbor asked, breathless, on the other end of the phone. A small plane had just crashed near my home, into the supermarket parking lot I had been planning to visit to pick up some groceries.

I turned on the news and tried to piece together what had happened. It was an Angel Flight: a pilot had donated his time and plane to take a cancer patient and his wife to Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute for treatment. I imagined a sick old man and his wife, holding hands, and felt terrible for them and the pilot.

The next day, I learned that the patient wasn’t a sick old man, but a 43-year-old father of 4-year-old twins. In a flash, two children were left without, not only their father who had been battling cancer, but their 37-year-old mother as well.

I can’t stop thinking about those twins who are around the ages of my Jilly, who is 5, and D, who is 3. What do they know? What do they understand? I hope that extended family has swooped down around them to love them and take care of them.

About four years ago, Fairly Odd Father and I got around to making our will. In doing so, we had to designate guardians for our kids should both of us die. It was an awful feeling, imaging our kids growing up without us, but the choices weren’t difficult. Honestly, I’m not sure we’d even need a will for a judge to know where the children should go, but we wanted to be sure that the family wasn’t torn apart should others come into the picture and want to lay claim to our kids.

How about you? Have you figured that out yet? It sucks to think about, and I hope that we’ll never need it, but this week’s events really drove home the need to consider life without us.


  1. Ugh. You just made me think about the unchecked box on our Marital To-Do List. Unchecked now for… five years? Yes. Because it is too hard. We both have one sibling, but for a variety of reasons, neither is a great, or even good, or even tolerable, choice. Our parents are aging, some of them quickly. So who, then? Friends, right? But which ones?? The ones that live locally, so as not to uproot? The ones closest to our own ideals of parenting and life? The ones who can afford to raise two more? Yes, yes, yes. Except no one couple fills that bill.

    So we haven’t yet resolved this dilemma. Yes, I suppose it’s time to tackle it again. Thanks for the nudge.

    Oh, and btw? I had a dream last night about Christmas decorations. Thanks a BUNCH!! 🙂

  2. My husband used to be a wills and estates attorney, so we’ve done this. Problem is, we didn’t want any of our siblings to be guardians, for a whole variety of reasons. So we named close friends. Whom we love, of course, but would our kids always play second fiddle to theirs? Frightening to think about. You just have to pray it never gets to that point.

    Those poor kids – and pilot, like you said. Wow.

  3. SuburbanCorrespondent says

    I’m trying to think which of our friends would jump at the chance to raise our 6 kids.


    Not coming up with much here, so then I start thinking about the kids being split up.


    Thanks for wrecking my day.

  4. The blogger formerly known as AlphaDogMa says

    LALALALALA. I can’t hear you! I can’t read you! I’m gonna live forever. I’m never going to die. I don’t need a will. LALALALALALA!

  5. Kristen M. says

    Argh. I also have the crappy sibling situation, added to our certifiably mental (and aging) parents. This is just the absolute hardest thing to think about. Our best choice right now is my 21 year old sister. How is that for stress? We still should write something up, though. I don’t want my other sister fighting for custody … the one who just had CPS called on her.

  6. Motherhood Uncensored says

    UGH. I know we have to do it.

    This is a startling reminder.

  7. I heard about this on the news too…so sad. We also did a will after Paige was born. Definitely not something we wanted to do. Like you it is pretty cut and dry that the kids would go to my sister and husband but just wanted it down so there was no question.

  8. We have yet to do it as well and really need to. We just cannot decided who we’d entrust our kids to.

  9. Hubby and I got wills done about 4 or 5 years ago. Our son just turned 15, so for about 10 years or so, we buried our head in the sand and said “we’re never gonna die!”. But when we built our home, it really hit us that we needed to take care of this issue. My parents, on the other hand, need to UPDATE their will. At this point, I will be under the guardianship of my deceased grandmother!!

  10. I heard that story too and those kids have been on my mind a lot.

    I have an agreement with my oldest sister that she would take mine and I would take hers. Her boys are much older than my 5 year old boy, but they would fit together well, and we have similar parenting styles.

    I hate thinking about it, but it’s a relief to know I’ve dealt with the issue.

  11. We have thought of the same thing. My son is 19, but has autism, so he will always need some sort of guidance.

    My daughter is nearly 15 and has just told me that she would not want to live with any family member. She has one fo my best friends picked out.

    My son has told me that he does not want to live with one of my sisters, for she cooks horribly. I of course cook wondefully, so I know where he is coming from.

    But the thought of my children bieng without both of us, sends chills up my spine!!

  12. My dad flies patients for Angel Flight sometimes, so this one really struck close to home, and when we heard who was on board…

    My lack of a will has kept me up at night for years now, especially with the two-country issues. It’s really hard to get kids out of Israel without a will. I just can’t seem to get my sh*t together to get it done. Some kind of major mental block. I really MUST do this. Soon.

  13. The first thing they do before they deploy your husband to Iraq is make sure you have a living will. Talk about a long hard night!
    Bless those little twins, I like you hope somone is hugging them tight tonight!

  14. Traceytreasure says

    I have a verbal agreement with my sister, that if something happens to both my husband and me that we want them to be with her since both of my parents are not an option in caring for my children in the event that something happens. I have a lawyer friend who knows my wishes but it’s terrible that we have nothing in writing. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I am thinking about waiting until our son is 18 and putting it in writing that I want him to be a caregiver to his sisters in a worse case scenario. I know that our son and my sister would give my girls the best possible life……I just can’t think about it. It makes me cry.

  15. I became a widow before either of my children became teenagers. It can and does happen to people like you and me. Don’t put it off. Talk about stuff, never part on bad terms, appreciate the good you have



Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge