I started this post last week but got busy and couldn’t finish it. Spank me.
Back to the 30-day challenge that is taking me months to get through. Slow and steady…loses readers who are falling asleep waiting for something new to read.
If you’d like to take the challenge, here is the blog that started it. Please link back to Lizzie.
If you’d like to read the previous posts in this series, you can find them here:
Day 20: My Fears
Our fears, like our hopes and dreams, change as we age. The things that scared us when we were little aren’t likely to still scare us now, as adults. We are wise enough now to know that there is no monster under our bed or in our closet and our mother’s back will come to no harm if we should happen to step on a crack in the sidewalk.
As I was mulling around some ideas for this post, I thought about the things that have frightened me over the years. Although some of them have changed, there are some that will haunt me forever.
When I was a baby, I imagine that I feared the things that most babies feared. The fear of going hungry or left in a dirty diaper for hours comes to mind, as well as being afraid that when my mother leaves the room, she’ll never come back. Thankfully, she always did.
In my teens, I had normal teenage fears. What if he doesn’t ask me to the dance? What if I get a dreaded pimple and can’t GO to the dance because I’d be too embarrassed? or the classic… He had better not cancel on me…I don’t have any other cousins to ask. The usual stuff. However, it was during those turbulent teen years that my own mortality and the fact that I, like everyone else on earth, had an expiry date. What happens afterwards? WHEN is it going to happen? That can’t possibly be “it” for us all?
I distinctly remember springing up to a sitting position when in bed one night, and sobbing uncontrollably. I had had a dream about being in small, dark room with only a candle for light. I knew the candle was important to me for some reason, even if I didn’t know the reason right away. The candle was almost completely used up, with the wick and flame sitting on a layer of melted wax. Then, I heard a shuffling in one of the dark corners and cringed in fear. A moment later, the flame flickers and dies. I had this same dream over and over again during my teen years. The details weren’t always the same, but there was always a clear and present danger and a candle at the end of it’s life.
In my mid twenties as a young bride and mother of 2 young boys, my fears shifted from my own well being to the safety and welfare of my husband and my children. I would have run in front of a truck to spare any of them pain or misery. Keeping my boys safe and protected was my first priority and I went to great lengths (sometimes too far) to make sure that they would get to grow up and be the healthy, happy adults that they are today.
I gave birth to my baby girl when I was 33. If I was protective with my boys, then I was a mother T-rex with my daughter. Even now, with her 17th birthday only 10 days away, she is still so innocent and silly that I fear that the world will eat her alive. I do my best to prepare her for what’s out there, but she is so trusting and I am afraid that others will take advantage of that. Of course, I will have to kill anyone who tries.
In my forties, I often feared being destitute. My husband moved from job to job, trying to find one that was well paying, had good insurance like health, dental and vision, that he might keep long term. I was working, but as an untrained laborer, I never had a job that paid much more than minimum wage, which was certainly not nearly enough to support my growing family. My husband has been working for a well-known railroad for the last 10 years and we are hoping that he will retire there. I also have a better job as a supervisor now, so financially we are set for the time being.
One of the fears that I have had since my youth, the fear of dying, is no longer with me. I’ve had several dances with death over the years and I’ve decided that, at least for the time being, heaven doesn’t want me…and hell is afraid I’ll take over. The freedom that comes with losing this fear is awesome, but at times dangerous because I take risks now that I wouldn’t have taken before. I figure that when my time is up, it’s up and there won’t be anything I can do to stop it. There is definitely solace in accepting the inevitable.
The only fear that remains with me always, no matter what our financial situation or my state of health is, and that’s to be forgotten. I want to be remembered by the people who’s lives I’ve touched. I am driven by the need to imprint a piece of me onto everyone I meet, so that one day at hearing of my death, people can be heard saying…. “I remember her.” Is this a crazy, irrational fear that is nearly impossible to beat? Is it unreasonable to think that I could mean that much to anyone, that years later they would remember a time with me and smile?
Then call me crazy, because I won’t stop until I have to. I may not have done anything heroic like open a rescue farm for battered and neglected animals (my dream if I ever win the lotto) or cure world hunger, but I would like to think that in our time together, however short or lengthy that is, I have said or done something that has impacted you in one way or another and possibly even inspired a positive change.
And I still scream like a little girl when I see a spider. Nasty little beasts.