February 13, 2011

I Have a Confession to Make

No, not that sort of confession...but one that caught me off guard.

I just popped over to a friend's blog in which she talks about how fear has sort of overwhelmed her recently. She unexpectedly and tragically suffered the loss of a good friend.

Her explanation of how fear has been ruling her life brought up some things that sort of took me by surprise this morning...

You see, not quite 3 years ago, we lost a good friend, BB and I. Our friend was something of a daredevil, loved going fast, being wild and crazy and doing zany things like riding too fast on his motorcycle, jumping his quad off the sand dunes, taking corners a little too fast, he was one of those people that lived his life. He was one of those people that truly did want to come skidding to a halt at the end of his life, holding his beer in one hand, and knowing that he'd squeezed every experience and sensation out of life that he possibly could.

He was out with a group of his riding buddies and took a section of road a little too fast. He lost control of his motorcycle at a really fast speed. He was in the hospital for 37 hours, and his wife had to make the decision of whether or not to keep his life support going. I cannot imagine being 73, let alone 32, a mother of a 7 and 5 year old making the decision to do that. I don't want to imagine being 73 or 83 or even 103 and having to decide that. I don't want someone to have to decide that about me!

Needless to say, when BB got on his motorcycle for the first time that spring, in 2008, I was petrified. I was nauseous, I couldn't focus on anything. I was fearful to the point of being paralyzed that morning. Which was not a good thing, as I had an infant and a toddler that needed me. I had a house that had chores which required my attention.

I didn't go to the store until BB was home and we could go together. I wouldn't go to Church without him, I almost stopped going to my Moms' group.

Somewhere, some part of me was so afraid of losing BB the same way my friend had lost her husband that I began to stop living my life. I had this crazy thought in my head that what happened to them would happen to us. I even tried to rationalize it by saying that if the 4 of us were together when something happened, we'd all go together...I wouldn't be left without BB in my life.

One morning, I sort of slowly came out of this haze of craziness...and realized that I'd replaced something crucial in my life with this fear, and that I was placing BB's importance in my life as far more than that of my beliefs.

Those of you who are Christians know what I'm going to say here - I had replaced my God with my husband. This is a tough place to be - putting a person in the place of God. Because people are broken and flawed and let us down and hurt us. Not intentionally, but that's what we do.

And so I struggled, over the ensuing months to get things back in alignment. To realize that if something did happen to BB that I'd find a way to continue with my life. It would be forever altered, skewed, like I was living in some alternate universe, a la Peter Parker, when he meets up with what his life would be like if only...

Somewhere along the way, I realized that things were different. I could either be ruled by the fear of things that might never happen, OR, I could choose to say that things might happen, but if they did, at least I knew that I had been the best me I could be - doing the things I'd been called to do, loving the way I was made to love, teaching, living, experiencing, sharing...

It still gets me every so often, and my heart stops, my throat gets all constricted, and I jump when the phone rings, expecting the worse...

I know that somewhere along the way, I'll realize that no matter what, I might still get that phone call that something has happened to one of the members of my family. But, if it does, I know I'll be alright eventually.

I can't wrap them up in bubble wrap or cotton and protect them...they'd never grow or experience life and the things that the world has to offer us.

The heartiest of plants and trees are the ones who've been buffeted about by the storms - hail, lightning, deep freezes, diseases...they are the ones who flower most beautifully and produce the best crop each season...

The ones that are protected from the harshness of life are the first ones to succumb to a little bit of suffering.

I'd rather be the tree that's been beaten and abused and carry my scars proudly, knowing that I'd made it through some amazing things any day...

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