Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fearless

My friend Lisa and I were talking about bugs earlier (we're odd that way) and it made me think about all the times that Britt, who was my self-appointed bug killer, dispatched large - and sometimes flying - creepy-crawlies that had made their way into our house. That made me think of all the many ways in which Britt really was fearless...in ways that sometimes scared me when she was young and that I learned to admire as she grew older. Those thoughts, in turn, reminded me of a conversation I had last month with one of her professors (who has become a cherished friend) about some of the ways in which the experience of losing has changed me.

One of the biggest changes is the absence of run-of-the-mill anxiety in my life. About 12 years ago (give or take a few years...time is so fuzzy these days) I was robbed at gun point right in front of my house. A horrible experience all the way around that left me with intermittent panic attacks and a random free-floating fear of almost anything. Being alone, strange places, strange people, new situations, large crowds, being out after dark...you name it. I was just afraid all the time. These days, not so much. But I never really thought about it until last month when I went up to Statesboro to have lunch with Laura. Our conversation was somewhat disjointed - we see each other rarely and tend to hop from subject to subject, trying to say everything all at once - but at some point she mentioned getting nervous about something and I heard myself tell her "That doesn't happen to me any more. After all...what could possibly happen to me that could be worse?"

Ever since, I've been turning that over in my head. How should you live a life when the worst possible thing that could happen has already happened and you're still standing? What might be possible when you really do know that you can survive the worst possible thing? And what obligations come with that? It's a lot to ponder and I welcome your thoughts.

One other thing: I mentioned earlier in the month that I was jumping on my friend Sue's coat-tails this month and unofficially joining her blog-a-thon by committing to posting once a day during May. My friend Lisa, who posts over at Mappa Mundi, is coat-tailing with me. Sue's post for today alerted us to the blog-a-thon's 'Guest Blogger Day' tomorrow and Lisa graciously invited me to swap with her. So I'll be posting at Lisa's place and she'll be posting here. I hope you'll visit both and say hello.

3 comments:

Lysnekate said...

I never knew Britt - I saw her posts on Readerville, and I've been getting to know her through you. The one word I would use to describe her would be fearless.

I love reading about her.

Ms. Debi - I am learning so much by knowing you.

I've fought with myself over what else to say here - I know I can't fix it, although that is my dearest wish. I don't want to fill this space with platitudes and fancy words. :) I am profoundly grateful for your willingness to share your viewpoint. I think of you and Britt every day.

Edie Irwin said...

I don't often leave comments here because this is your outlet and well - I don't want to appear to be riding on your coat tails. The philosophy that you espouse today has indeed been mine for awhile.
"Someone cut you off while driving - that's trivial"
"Your mother in law is a flaming bitch - well that is not the worse that could happen"
I have also brought it into my work life. I used to panic if one of the applications was not working, or we were getting constant errors. No more, because what we do at WP as far as IT goes, does not save lives, nor will it destroy a life if something breaks.
Long lines, traffic, people who are late just don't bother me like they used to.
I guess that is a good thing.

Debi said...

Lysne, you are such a dear. I want to thank you for sharing your little ones with me in so many ways. It soothes my heart to watch you mothering, even from afar, and I appreciate that you allow me the opportunity.

I think it's a very good thing, Aunt Edie. I'm not much for country music, at least NEW country music, but a few years back someone pointed me to a Gretchen Wilson song that really resonated with me. The title? My Give-A-Damn Is Busted. Amen.