Sunday, June 22, 2008

Of Worries, Fears and Tears

One of my favorite fellow bloggers, David McMahon over at Authorblog does a little q&a thing every Sunday called "Weekend Wandering" in which he posts a question for bloggers to write about. This week's question is "What is your biggest fear?" At first when I thought about what I fear the most, I wasn't sure I could really put my fears out here, for all to read, to know what a wuss I really am at times. But then, I read another blogger's post to this and since her fears are very much in tune to mine, I decided to go ahead and let it all hang loose, ya know. So thanks to Maggie at Nuts In May for giving me the nerve or strength or whatever to post this.

I don't like spiders but I don't run screaming from them -I find a way to smoosh 'em though, somehow. Gross as it may be, nasty to some I suppose that I kill 'em when I can but hey, this is one of my fears so I try to get rid of it! Snakes are a little higher up on my list than spiders -don't like them either but I'm too scared of them I think to try to kill 'em myself. However, I will go to all lengths to find someone else who can and will slaughter the slitherly things for me if they impose on my turf.

As a I child, I was terrified of the dark -wouldn't go upstairs to bed alone so my Mom had to accompany me there. Then, when I was ready to get into bed, I was convinced for a long, long time there was some demon sleeping under the bed that was going to reach out and grab my leg as I tried to get into bed so to compensate for that, I would take a little running start, aim at the mattress and then jump so my feet -and legs -weren't within the reach of the monster under the bed.

Today, I'm not quite that fearful. Good thing too because I would never be able to manage a "run and jump" to hit the mattress if that were still on my "fearful" list. But, I do sleep with the tv set on -all night long it plays -and I think that may be a holdover from my being afraid of the dark as I have done this since my ex-husband moved out of the house 28-29 years ago now!

But those are petty, small time fears compared to what I really worry about happening!

I worry all the time that something will happen to my current living arrangements -that my daughter, son-in-law and the kids will no longer be here with me and how will I manage to stay in my home if that were to occur? I can't afford the mortgage, utility bills, insurance payments, gas for my car and food too all on my social security check. Mandy and Bill pay the household expenses and I cover the extras or the smaller bills -water, tv cable and internet, some of the food costs -things like that.

And as frightening as that thought may be when it crosses my mind, it still isn't my biggest fear.

I worry about the senility or potential I will end up with Altzheimer's -if the cancer doesn't come back first and run off with my body! Senility, hardening of the arteries, Altzheimer's -whatever name you care to call it -runs in my family -just like the cancer does too. I've seen how it affects people -first hand -as my grandfather was not in his right mind the last 2-3 years of his life. My Mom's older sister had the same problem and the last couple of years my Dad's baby sister lived, she was beginning to show many signs of the senility or dementia setting in and my Mom too had issues with that type of thing. I once confided this fear to a minister we used to have and told him I had nothing against living a very long life, provided it could be guaranteed that I would still be able to operate within my "right" mind. (Whatever that might be -not quite sure as lots of people have believed for a long time now too that I've never been in my "right" mind to begin with." Anyway, I'd told him that if I knew I could be able to have all my wits about me, I'd love nothing better then than to live to a really ripe old age -like Dagmar -a lady from our church who just passed away about a month ago at the age of 102 -and a half, no less! The pastor laughed and told me not to worry about that because if the dementia demons were to strike me, odds are I wouldn't realize they'd come calling and I'd be happy anyway! How's that for a way to deal with a big fear?

But much as I do still dread the thought of being even more difficult for my daughter Mandy to contend with than she thinks I am -or can be -now, it still isn't my worst fear.

I used to worry about getting cancer but since I've already done that, survived five years now so far without it returning, and I came to terms with the mortality issues that brings back then too, I no longer fear that. Truthfully, now I don't fear death anymore at all. What will be, will be. I'll deal with whatever illness may present itself to me as it comes my way now.

My biggest fear though is my children and now, my preciouis grandchildren. Not that I love my grandchildren more than my children -at least I don't think I do -but I do fear that something may happen to them , that they will be taken -no longer here for me to love, to hug, kiss, squeeze, discipline and just plain enjoy them!

I worry especially about Maya and Kurtis and the autism thing they both have. I don't worry so much that THEY won't be able to learn, to adjust, to be productive as I do though about how they will be received by the public at large. Will they be taunted or tormented, bullied because they think and thus, operate a little away from what is considered to be the norm?

Things like that are what really scares me! Will Mandy and Bill be able to protect them where and when it is necessary? Will they be able to provide adequately for them? Will I still be here, and able to help them to continue to learn too?

If something were to happen to one of my kids, one of my grandchildren, I really don't know if I could cope with something along those lines. I've read that losing a child is so much harder to cope with the loss than it is to lose parents, siblings, other family, spouse, etc. and I do believe that is the absolute truth too.

And that is my greatest fear -that something will happen that will claim one of my immediate family.

I know no one ever wants to think of parting with our loved ones -regardless of where they fit within our lives. I've been there, done that as my parents are gone, grandparents and all my beloved aunts and uncles too -even a couple of my generation cousins are gone now as well. And yes, I know, I have survived those losses, adjusted to the facts of life, as it where, there.

But the thought of losing a child even if the child is an adult now or to be without my grandchildren -well that does, indeed, strike a note of pure panic in my head!

I try to work through these thoughts in my mind -the "what if's" ya know -without it dragging me down, without it making me so overblown about it that I might become OCD with worry. But still, I can't completely dispel these fears and can't operate without them popping in and out of my pea brain from day to day.

Now, time for me to get some lunch for Kurtis and then, venture out on the highway to meet my older daughter down in Milesburg to pick Maya up and bring her home.

It's been so quiet here today without her constant chatter -even pleasant too without her frequent tormenting of Kurtis as well (she does love to be a bit mean to him at times) but I'll be eternally grateful that I make the drive down and back with her coming home and even the noise factors, the sibling fights, will be music to my ears.

I'd never want to go without hearing those sounds ever again or seeing them again!
KURTIS - My Little Prince

MAYA - My Little Princess

ALEX - My Big Prince



Travis said...

I'm also afraid of spiders and snakes, and I sleep with the tv on when I'm alone.

I think we all have that fear that something will happen to a loved one, and that the time we have with them just isn't enough.

david mcmahon said...

What a brave post, Jeni - and I pray you never have to confront any of those fears.

Maggie May said...

Jeni ........... I am pleased that I was able to help you to put your fears onto paper (virtual or otherwise so to speak)
I didn't mention losing children. That would finish me but I am not even thinking about that. On my more pessimistic days I do!
Strangely enough, death for me is not as frightening as surviving with the fears! Isn't it terrible to be like this.
Anyway, thanks for bearing your soul. At least we can write to each other for comfort! So glad that I remarked on your Sunday Roast!

Denise said...

As a primary school teacher of 30 years I have had to attend funerals of past pupils who have died young. It never gets any easier, to see past pupils coming together to say goodbye to someone who has been snatched from us.
I can understand your fear and hope and pray you never have to encounter your worst nightmare.


Sandi McBride said...

Jeni, I think we all have fears and worries down deep inside of us that we are afraid to own up to or face...the spiders and snakes is small stuff, so, don't sweat the small stuff! But as for the rest, don't dwell my friend! To keep your mind flexible and supple, do puzzles...crossword, findaword, jigsaw, computer puzzles like tetris...believe me, it helps, and that cup of coffee we love...go for it! hugs