It is now past three AM and I have been up for an hour worrying about things I cannot control. I once asked my father if he knew when he would die. He said it was a mystery. I told him I want to know. We had a long thought experiment about death. If you knew when you were going to die how would you live? Would you live in fear of that day? Would you live life to the fullest knowing that with each passing day you come closer to the end? Would you fear age? Would you be afraid to love knowing you will die? We came to the conclusion it is better not to know and just take each day as it comes.
As an adult I am blessed. A wonderful husband, an amazing child. The luxury to enjoy both to the fullest in a comfortable apartment. We are happy. And sometimes I can’t help but worry that these are the types of families that something bad always happens to. I wish that I could protect those I love with that love. That my love might act as a shield against the evil and problems of the world.
My fears range from horrible car accidents, to falling downstairs, to chocking. When we were going to take Mateusz swimming for the first time the night before I had a dream that I saw him at the bottom of the pool. I almost didnt want to take him the water the next day. I cautioned my husband again and again to hold tight to him. I was scared to touch him in the water. Afraid my dream was a premonition.
My fears also range to global proportion. What if society ends…What if nuclear war….what if germs mutate… I can hear my father’s voice in my head trying to calm and yet frustrating me because I feel unheard. I know there is nothing I can do. No course of action I can take to protect my son. I have to let go and let fate, God, life take its course. My stressing over things that may or may not happen will change what lies ahead of us. And yet here I am. Worrying about things that are beyond my control. Beyond my comprehension. I am checking to make sure I hear everyone breathing. Rhythmically worrying to the ins and outs of air passing through their body.
Our life is so precious so meaningless. The pain that would rock my world may will have no affect for the vast majority of people. Will mean nothing in a global, universal, time perspective. It is but a flash. My flash to focus on, to define my life. I am but a flash in this world. A moment to burn and die.
There are so many things I think at this moment. Remembered pains, some my own, some of others. I wish to write them all that they may not be forgotten. That those pains and hurts have some place, some relevance.
My mother had a sister her name was Ilda. She died before my mom was even born. Her sisters hardly remember her and hardly talk about her. My mom did not even know of her existence until she was in her twenties. There were no pictures of her growing up. No stories. No momentos of her even presents in life. My aunts cant even remember how old she was when she died. Was she seven or was she eight? Years of screwed childhood and blended years. The pain of losing a child. I cannot imagine. And yet, my mother’s name is Ilda. She shares the name of her dead sister. What mother would name their new child the name of their dead one? What sisters would take this new child into their midsts that had the same name as their sibling, a sibling that they have memories of. Memories of walking to school. Memories of playing with dolls. Memories that they never talked of. What of this pain? What of this child? This person who lived and no one talks about. The years have grown over the grave of memories so far as to almost blot out the memory. A shred of half remembered ghosts are all that remain of this Ilda. This child like Ilda that is frozen in time by death, by memory. What of my grandmother and grandfather who buried a child? Who watched their child suffer through polio or the flu or a fever, some aliment that no one remembers and that they did not have the money to fix? They were too poor to afford a doctor. Too poor to pay for the preist to come and give last rites. Too poor to save their child. The pain, the guilt, the frustration. Where did that go? Who remembers? What was the lesson in that? What was the purpose? How many painful things happen that go unrecorded, unmarked in this life?
I look at my son. My world. Five months he has been in my life. How will he grow? Who will he be? I pray I know. I pray he grows healthy and strong, compassionate and loving. I pray so hard that no accident befalls him. No disease comes to him. I pray that my love can protect him. That his hardships are never to heavy. I pray for him. I pray so hard for him because his pain is my pain. As a mother your life is never your own again. You carry the burdens of your husband, your children. I pray for my son that he can carry all the burdens of his life. That he can experience the joy and put pain in it’s place. Not forget. I don’t know how to teach this to him. I don’t know if I know how to do it. Pain has a place in life. Death has a place in life. Has meaning to each one of us. A memory. I pray for all those memories. Memories I dont know or have forgotten. Memories that people dont share. I pray that everyone finds peace with death. I pray for protection. That my children my loved ones be spared. I feel guilty for saying that. I feel guilty for asking for protection. Like passover. I want the blood of that lamb or goat or whatever animal that had to die that my door might be painted red and protected.
I dont know if I understand all that I have written. Something in me came uncorked. I had to get it out and not stew in it. Not lay there in bed and wrestle with things I cannot change.Things happen for a reason. I have to let it go. I cannot control these things. I have to let it go. I have to live life without the answer of death. I have to let my children live, my husband live without the fear of the unknown. I have to let it be.