Thinking back to my childhood, I can remember thinking that I would die young. My Mom was terrified of dying, and unfortunately being associated with that attitude at such a young age somewhat tainted my view of living. It wasn’t really her fault, but was a symptom of her mental illness. Of course, I didn’t know that.
Living was something you did super, ultra carefully. You didn’t want to open yourself up to possibly getting killed by doing something stupid….like playing baseball ( you might get hit in the head with a baseball and get killed….yes it was that bad). I therefore didn’t play little league until my last eligible year…although it turned out I was pretty good at it. Made the All Stars, hit some home runs, had fun!
I tried to staunch my fears when I was raising my kids, but didn’t do well in some cases. They were lucky to have a stable Mom, because I was prone to panic attacks, and had irrational fears of many things: flying, bad storms, etc. I know my kids can remember. I regret those shortcomings, but at the time, I had no solutions. Later on in life, I got medication for my problems, and settled down somewhat. I say somewhat, because I still harbored some of those irrational fears. I did overcome my fear of flying and got a house with a dang good storm shelter!
I feel like that in 2010, when I had my bypass surgery, I became much less fearful of death. I became more capable of living in the day, and appreciating the beauty of the world around me, and being ever so grateful for the family I have to share my life with. Sometimes I still fear the unknown, but not nearly to the extent that I used to.
At my age, I surely don’t have to worry about “dying young” anymore. I do however, certainly want to continue to be able to build memories with my little ones as long as I possibly can.
My Mom lived to be almost eighty one years old, and only in her very final last days do I believe she found some inner strength, and sacrificed her fear of death to the ability to find some peace. I was there with her…almost all her family was there.
Build happy memories friends and family, and do not be fearful of the unknown!