Things haven't changed.
I still worry like crazy over things that are completely out of my control. And I'm not referring to little things like "What am I going to make for dinner?" or "What should I wear to work tomorrow?" No, I don't stress over the little things. It's the big things that keep me up at night.
Big things like:
- What would I do if my parents were killed in a horrible car accident?
- How would I cope with losing my husband?
- When is my mom/dad going to come home from a doctor's appointment and announce they have some horrible, terminal illness?
- What would I do if I lost one of my closest friends?
You see, the things I worry about aren't specifically about me per say, but more about the loss I might endure. I don't worry that I will get killed, or have some illness. No, I worry that someone I love will and that I'll then be left with nothing but a void in my life.
I don't know where these fears come from. I don't know why I can't just say to myself that I'm being silly and overreacting about something that is not likely to happen. I could say that. But then I'd be a total liar. Because things like this do happen. Because things like this happen to people I know. Because I don't have anything better to worry about, I guess.
The month of November has been a shitty one to say the least. Ironic that it's also the month where a holiday falls, a specific holiday that reminds us of all we have to be thankful for. I probably thought more this month about what I have to be thankful for, than I have any other month in my life. Why? Because the very things I fear were thrown in my face and seemed to be a constant reminder of just exactly what I have and haven't lost.
To be specific?
The loss of Billy. A loving, caring person whose pain seemed so unimaginable to her, that the only solution she could find peace in was suicide. And now I'm left reading facebook updates from her widowed husband about the void she's left in their life, and how it's just him and his two daughters left behind. My heart aches for that man every day.
The loss of Mindy's father. Mindy is a girl I grew up with. We were close all through school. She and I even competed on the same team that traveled to national competitions two years in a row. I had sleep overs at her house. I threw her a surprise party for her birthday one year. I love her sweet spirit and often we discuss our military husbands and how funny/ironic life can be. She's my age, her parents are my age. And she's now suffering from one of the things I fear the most. Five days before Thanksgiving, her father went on a bike ride just as he has done every night for years past. Only this time, he didn't come home from his ride. His body was found a day later in a ditch a little ways from his home. He suffered a massive heart attack. I've been thinking of Mindy and her mother so much these past few days. My heart hurts for them.
My old next door neighbor Iris. She was killed two weeks ago in a car accident in the canyon my family and I have traveled through for years (Spanish Fork). There were two others in the vehicle with her and they are fine, but Iris is gone. She leaves behind a husband, a daughter, and a son. I can't imagine what they are going through right now. Shock, pain, anger, sadness, and whatever else you feel when you grieve the loss of a loved one.
I could go on. There's more that saddens me, but I don't want that to be the point of this blog. If anything, I want to express how lucky I feel, how thankful I am that I have loved ones in my life who are healthy and full of spirit.
I want to express that I have a strong faith in Christ. Even though I'm not a church goer of any sorts, I know without a doubt that God exists. I always have. My mother told me that at the age of three I wanted to know all about God. I think that's a pretty darn young age to be thinking about such grand things, but I was a very curious little girl. I have always had a faith that nothing can touch. And although I don't question that faith, I can't explain why suffer from such anxieties. I guess it's because I'm learning, first hand, just how precious life is.
I remember being young and hearing sad stories of people who had died due to tragic circumstances and thinking to myself "That won't ever happen to my family." I had this sort of invincible outlook on life. We were a happy family, a strong family, and I guess in my young little mind, that meant we were excused from any tragic sadness and loss. And although my family has never personally experienced something like that (thank goodness), I now know we aren't exempt from these types of things. Perhaps in finally accepting this, I now fear the very things I used to think would never happen.
I don't know what changed in me as a person. I can't really relate these fears to any one specific event, or even a handful for that matter. The only thing I can think to relate it to is experience in life. It seems the older I get, the more I naturally know and learn. And with that knowledge comes the responsibility to handle that knowledge. As an adult, I think we're expected to maintain that sense of calm and level headedness even though we know the impossible is always possible. I've come to know and except that life can change in a tiny fragile second. And I can't control the unknown fates that lie before the rest of my life. The unknown and uncontrollable are always scary, to say the least. I just wish I didn't have to focus on that all the time. And for some reason I think the holidays- which I view as a specific time for the togetherness of family, friends, and spirit- always bring out a little extra anxiety in me, as I recognize just how much I have and how I could lose it all in seconds.
To get back to my main point, I am thankful. Thankful for what I have in friends and family. Thankful for what I haven't had in my life. Thankful for my life, and the loved ones around me. And to a point, thankful that I can recognize just how fragile my structured surroundings are. In knowing this, I'm reminded of just exactly how lucky I am.